Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey today visited a summer scheme being delivered by Northern Cricket Union and commended the organisation for offering the event free of charge.
The NCU is focusing delivery of the five-day Smash It Summer Camp to ethnic minority groups, particularly those from South East Asia. In recent years there has been an increase in participation from these communities at senior level - especially from inner city clubs.
Minister Hargey said:
“I believe it is important that sport promotes inclusion for all sections of our society and it is encouraging to see NCU working with minority communities to encourage participation.
“I must commend NCU for this positive engagement, especially some of the inner-city teams such as Belfast International Sports Club, Belfast and Dunmurry clubs as they seek to continue to grow the sport of cricket and sustain continued future participation.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to state my appreciation for the current funding made available by Belfast City Council. This has ensured that this important development programme is offered free to young children at a time families are struggling with the impact of this cost of living crisis.”
In 2019/20, Department for Communities provided resource funding of £42,500 to the Northern Cricket Union to increase participation opportunities for under-represented groups. The event today builds on the work taken forward at that time.
Notes to editors:
- Photo caption: Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured at the Northern Cricket Union summer camp with Chris Taylor, Club and Participation Development Manager, Callum Atkinson, Operations Manager and some of the children attending the scheme.
- Smash It is part of Cricket Ireland’s National Junior Programmes for kids. The initiative targets girls and boys aged five – nine years and encourages them to be active, make friends and have fun in an inclusive and safe environment. It also aims to get children excited about cricket through discovery and play whilst learning fundamental movement skills needed for batting, bowling, fielding and wicket-keeping.
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