Downing Street meeting ‘hugely positive’ for Arundel Castle Cricket

Creating exciting opportunities for young people in state school education was the topic of discussion when Arundel Castle Cricket Club chief James Rufey met with Government advisors at Downing Street.
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Rufey, COO and Director of Cricket at the organisation, is keen to expand state school cricket fixtures at the picturesque Arundel venue and he hopes his visit to Number 10 last week brings the event a step closer.

Helping him in his quest and who accompanied him to the official residence and office of the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was the influential Cheryll Rogers, CEO of FairBreak Global, the innovative sporting movement that creates career empowering pathways for female cricketers globally.

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They met with Myles Stacey, special adviser to the Prime Minister, and the visit was hugely beneficial, says Rufey.

James Rufey at Arundel Castle | Contributed pictureJames Rufey at Arundel Castle | Contributed picture
James Rufey at Arundel Castle | Contributed picture

He added: “The meeting was very positive. We have the most wonderful venue to host a myriad of cricket and one of those key segments is state school cricket. In terms of cricket specific activity – we will host the West Sussex Primary Schools soft ball and County State Schools hard ball (u14 & u16) T20 finals day this summer.

“And conversations are ongoing to expand our offering. The bigger picture of the visit to Downing Street with regards to national cricket is the structure of state school cricket throughout the country, looking at getting more resource into these schools and delivering the best quality cricket schools programmes to the children whilst also linking them with local clubs.

"All this as well as raising awareness that there are opportunities there to be had for children to come to place such as Arundel Castle Cricket Ground.

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“As someone who was educated via the state system in Bognor but also worked in the independent sector at Gordonstoun School, I understand the gap in opportunity. We are though very fortunate in this area that we have an abundance of quality local clubs who offer quality coaching for many young players. It is though imperative that the cricket message is being delivered via the schools concerned.

“Cricket is the most outstanding educator and can offer a myriad of opportunity and life lessons that stretch beyond the playing field.

"We are at Arundel Castle Cricket, of course, very proud in the educational opportunities we offer children who face inequality of opportunity via the work of our exceptional foundation, which is led by Tim Shutt.

"As well as the cricket theme, they would be able to experience the beauty of Arundel and the castle, the forestry school, beach visits and lots of other educational opportunities.”

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