Warwickshire County Cricket Club has been named as winner of the Community Engagement Award at the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Business of Cricket Awards (BOCA).

The Community Engagement Award – which Warwickshire CCC also won in 2014 – was presented in recognition of the club’s campaign to make cricket more accessible in inner-city areas where opportunities to play are limited due to a lack of green space, equipment and coaching.

As part of the programme, the club worked with Selco Builders Warehouse and Birmingham City Council to fund 1,000 plastic cricket bats to donate to local children, whilst also providing free Friday night coaching sessions at Edgbaston.

It also launched its Edgbaston Classroom programme, which accommodated more than 1,500 pupils from local schools who experienced a cricket-themed educational classroom activity, a behind the scenes tour of Edgbaston and coaching session.

Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: “We’re working hard to make cricket more widely available to local youngsters, by creating new opportunities to play at home, in schools, at clubs and through Warwickshire Cricket Board programmes.

“The Warwickshire Cricket Board is already working with 201 schools across the region, but with increased investment and the development of our Edgbaston Foundation charity, we expect to create even more opportunities in the coming months and hopefully see many more youngsters experiencing and benefitting from cricket.”
Staged at Lord’s, London, the ECB BOCAs celebrate business excellence across the county game and Warwickshire CCC’s were one of six award winners.

ECB’s Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said: “It’s very exciting to see the different ways in which our First Class Counties are developing stronger links with their existing fan-base – and reaching out to potential new supporters too.

“Improving fans’ match-day experience, making more effective use of digital channels and taking cricket to new audiences are all important parts of ECB’s broader framework to grow the game – Cricket Unleashed.

“There was intense competition for these awards – with a high quality of entries in all categories. Many congratulations to all our winners.”