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Street20 ‘en Francais’!

C4C members of staff, Donovan Miller and Si Ledwith, recently visited Paris to facilitate Street20 cricket in France as part of a project with ICC Europe and France Cricket.  Here Si Ledwith, C4C Assictant Development Manager, tells us more about this ground breaking development trip. We arrived at Paris’ Garde Du Nord at around 11am where we were met by France Cricket Chief Executive, Mark Moodley. It was an hour’s drive to the France Cricket headquarters on the other side of Paris, so Mark gave us an insight into the work that they had already been doing in the districts (suburbs) of the city.

Like many organisations, France Cricket and Mark were keen to use ‘Street20′ to engage with the marginalised communities within the capital. The communities being worked with had a high population of young people from a Pakistani or Indian heritage which made the introduction of cricket into these areas highly popular. However, it was those that were not from the cricket mainstream that needed targeting and ‘Street20′ cricket appears to be the tool to engage them.

We spent the afternoon at France Cricket HQ introducing the format of ‘Street20′, the rules, how it is played, scorecards and success stories to come through our programmes at home in the UK.  In addition the French team were shown the process of organising and running a ‘Street20′ competition, introducing the game into the school’s curriculum and how a community session in the districts might work. When discussing the community session emphasis was given to the youth engagement tools used alongside the game in order to teach the young people life lessons of respect, time management, decision making and many more. The meeting also allowed the France Cricket officials to ask any questions that they had around the game, how it works to engage communities and funding strategy.

In the evening we were invited to observe and then run a session with some young people. The first part of the session was led by Daniel, France Head Coach and included various drills and games but with a hard ball. This would not be the case back in the UK, certainly not for the age ranges that were on show but these young people did have a very high ability it has to be said.

The second part of the session was led by Donovan Miller (Development Officer C4C) who introduced the game of ‘Street20′. Donovan explained how the game is used in England and the idea behind the tape ball used. It was an instant hit so we ran a 2 hour competition for the young people. ‘Street20′ is now a game that is used as part of the regular training sessions that take place.

The idea behind this work is that in the coming years we are able to be involved with a European ‘Street20′ competition. Hopefully now France will be equipped to enter a team into what promises to be an exciting venture.