Cricket for the community

A cricket club in Kent is aiming to increase the physical and mental benefits of playing sport amongst its local community after being awarded a £15,000 grant by the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

Bexley Cricket Club has been in existence for over 200 years and is an integral part of the local community. It caters for all ages and abilities with teams for boys and girls from five years old to men and women’s teams for the over 50s. The club’s first XI team currently play in the Kent Cricket League Premier League.

The grant has been awarded to help fund the refurbishment and upgrading of practice nets which will enable the club to get more people playing cricket. Recently the club has increased female participation and plans to continue building on this growth once the work is complete.

Along with the focus on growing participation, being part of the community and looking after player welfare is at the heart of everything the club does. All coaches are trained to identify mental health issues and call upon the club’s welfare officer when individuals need support. A number of groups in the local community - including schoolchildren, a local church group and a group for disabled people - are given free use of the facilities in the summer as part of the club’s commitment to helping as many people as possible enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of playing cricket.

Club chairman Nick Riley said: “On behalf of Bexley Cricket Club I have to say how pleased we were to hear the news we had been awarded a grant towards our outdoor cricket practice nets refurbishment and upgrade.

“We are extremely grateful for this grant without which we could not have proceeded with this much-needed project. When completed, it will allow all our members - both youth and adult - to safely practice in a first-class facility.”

Could your community benefit? Find out about grants from The London Marathon Charitable Trust.