""I went along, got involved and that was it. For me cricket is a chance to play just like anyone else. It's a great escape and I've made some amazing friends""
Replacing graffiti with cricket
MUSTUBA FAISI REPLACES GRAFFITI WITH CRICKET AT BRENT 'STREETCHANCE'.
(prepared by Alex Bassan, Cricket for Change Development Officer)
Mustuba Faisi is a big part of the Brent ‘StreetChance’ team (run by Cricket for Change on behalf of ‘StreetChance’ which is supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports) and has been from day one. Mustuba came because of his love for cricket but didn’t want to join a club. When he turned up I (Alex Bassan) could tell straight away that Mustuba (Mushy) was a good person.
Mushy was very good at talking to the younger kids and making sure they had good understanding of what was going on and what they should be doing. At times I felt like I had an assistant coach with me.
Mushy lives in a high knife crime area in Brent and when I met him he was sitting outside a a fried chicken shop with his mates with nothing to do. Mushy said himself, “Before the cricket all I done was just stand around shop corners doing nothing just standing about waiting for the next thing to do.”
Because Mushy came from quite a strict family he found himself going against them and at times getting into trouble by doing graffiti and going around causing criminal damage. By speaking to Mushy and keeping him concentrated on the cricket sessions C4C were running, it was easy to see that he (Mushy) started to enjoy the coaching side of it. At the sessions he would be given the responsibility of teaching a mini activity, for example a simple catching game or the warm up.
(Mushy says)“At the sessions I feel like I have more responsibility and I feel more confidant in myself”. Mushy is respected by all the players in the Brent team as well as by players from other teams from different boroughs. He has a special way of talking and communicating with the younger players which really engages them, which is brilliant.
Mushy has helped develop the Brent ‘StreetChance’ project and it is going from strength to strength. He has gone out with me to speak to kids on the street and at schools (with a few of his friends too) telling his story to them and giving out leaflets and posters urging them to get involved in the project and with C4C. Mushy is now part of the 2010/2011 Cricket for Change Apprenticeship Scheme where he will learn new life skills and hopefully achieve a cricket qualification.
Mustuba Faisi or 'Mushy' is in the middle, standing, in the above picture
Mushy has the potential to go a long way through the Apprenticeship,“Ever since Alex told me about the Apprenticeship programme I have been wanting to do it. The problem I had was that I thought it would get in the way of my school work but it doesn’t it works around me. Also I can do sessions close to my home like Brent and also still get to go to the competitions but this time I will be the umpire and can’t wait for it to all to start.” Mushy has done really well to get where he is, he was always good in school with his work but when he was out of school he could have easily taken a wrong turn down the wrong path.
Mushy has been on the C4C Apprenticeship Scheme for 5 months and is now a qualified ECB Level 1 Cricket Coach. He is enjoying his time as an Apprentice and already has the respect of his peers on the scheme and will continue to grow and grow.
Mushy says, “If someone said to me that I would have a cricket qualification I would have laughed at them but now I can go and teach other kids like myself not just cricket but the life skills that I have learnt as well.”
Mushy has become a key part of the Brent ‘StreetChance’ project and a great ‘StreetChance’ ambassador, he still has a while to go on the Apprenticeship Scheme and a lot to learn but if he keeps going as he is, he will achieve so much more than he ever thought he could.