A new charity, the Warwickshire Cricket Foundation, has been launched to help underpin a pledge across the county to support recreational cricket and inspire everyone to take up the game.

Warwickshire Cricket Foundation aims to develop recreational cricket across the region – helping clubs be more sustainable and inclusive – champion jobs and training opportunities in sport, and increase participation among state educated children. 

The school’s programme expanded in 2023 – its coaches reached 32,000 school pupils in Birmingham and Warwickshire – as it strives to inspire a new generation of cricket fans and players.

Activity ranges from weekly sessions during half-terms, to one-off cricket days, and focused activity in schools where more than 40 per cent of pupils qualify for free school meals. 

Fidelis Navas – Director of Warwickshire Cricket Foundation, which has been created following a merger of the Edgbaston Foundation and Warwickshire Cricket Board – said the new charity will help the Club do even more.

She said: “The charity has been a year in the making so to see it come to fruition is really exciting. I’ve seen first-hand how cricket can bring communities together, develop communication and social skills and improve physical and mental health.

“Our ethos is ‘cricket without limits’. We want to remove any limitations or barriers to access cricket, be it where you work or volunteer, or the sport you play; it should be loved by everyone. I want the Foundation to be at the forefront of using cricket for good.

“Expanding cricket participation among women and girls is also a key focus for the Foundation and we’ll continue to  support recreational clubs to set up and run women and girls sections as well as setting up community hubs throughout the county. 

“Achieving charity status is important as it will help us access additional funding streams, while we also have some exciting fundraising activities planned.”

The first of those fundraising events sees the Foundation officially launched on Friday (1 March) with a cricket festival at Edgbaston Stadium.

The festival will include players from Warwickshire’s Disability Access team who will be helping coach students from a local Special Educational Needs college.

It’s part of the Access team’s Foundation-funded training to become qualified cricket coaches and to strengthen their leadership and communication skills.

Bears players, women’s groups, match day volunteers, players from a local cricket club and pupils from two primary schools will also take part in the festival. 

For more information go to edgbaston.com/foundation/.