For the third year running, the project will see coaches from Sussex Cricket bring the game to hundreds of girls at primary and secondary schools in Brighton and Portslade, as well as running four girls cricket hubs offering free sessions for 11-16 year-olds in Brighton, Burgess Hill, Portslade and Worthing.
Twenty primary schools are already scheduled to take part in sessions in 2019, while over 70 hours of coaching at the Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies are planned. Two indoor competitions for primary schools will take place this winter, with an outdoor competition planned in the summer.
The four hubs start their winter programmes next week, are free and open to girls aged 11-16. The Burgess Hill hub (Triangle Leisure Centre, 7.30-8.30pm) starts on Tuesday 8th January and runs every Tuesday until 19th March.
SEE ALSO Sussex stars in winning form in Australia's Big Bash | Sport in 2018 remembered: Sussex have a Blast at Finals DayThe Portslade (Portslade Leisure Centre, 5.30-6.30pm) and Worthing (Durrington High School, 6.30-7.30pm) hubs begin on Wednesday 9th January and continue every Wednesday until 3rd April.
The Brighton hub (Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, 7-8pm) starts next Thursday 10thJanuary before continuing every Thursday until 4th April.
A tournament for girls that take part in the hubs and a mother and daughter day will follow in the summer at The Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre.
For many girls, the sessions delivered as part of the Aldridge Foundation girls cricket project will be their first experience of the game.
Girls at Coombe Road Primary School in Brighton, for example, had never played cricket before getting involved in the project two years ago.
Since then, Sussex Cricket Foundation coaches have delivered nearly 20 hours of coaching at the school. In 2018, Coombe Road entered the Year Six Kwik Cricket tournament for the first time, beating 18 other schools from around Brighton to the area title and taking part in the county finals day at the Blackstone Academy Ground, sponsored by Hurstpierpoint College.
The pupils at Coombe Road are not the only girls that take part in the Aldridge Foundation girls project sessions who have gone on to play more cricket: 98% of the girls that attended a hub in 2018 went on to join a local cricket club in the summer.
Reflecting on the success of the project so far, Sussex Cricket’s women & girls development officer, Charlotte Burton said: “Thanks to the sponsorship and support of the Aldridge Foundation, the girls project has given us an opportunity to get more girls into cricket and to work closely with our local communities.
“Through the project we are not just helping girls play cricket but also trying to make a difference in their lives through the power of cricket.
“With what we have planned in 2019 we are going to target more girls than ever. None of this would be possible without the support from the Aldridge Foundation.”
For information on how to register someone for the forthcoming hubs in Brighton, Burgess Hill, Portslade and Worthing, [email protected] or visit https://sussexcricket.co.uk/aldridge-girls-cricket-hubs.