Bat for a Chance gears up for 2021

Isaac Lockett talks to Bat For A Chance Founder Will Gaffney about what the charity has done so far at the start of 2021.

Following Emerging Cricket’s recent interview with founder Will Gaffney, the good news keeps coming from Bat For A Chance as the charity gears up for 2021 with a number of updates to report.

Gaffney shared that there have been four key developments since the last time that Emerging Cricket spoke to the charity. Firstly, ‘recently Bat For a Chance has been very busy, sending off kit to Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka. Alongside preparing a big drop for very early in the New Year’. 

The Bat For A Chance logo (Photo: Bat For A Chance)

When talking about the donation to Sri Lanka, Gaffney stated that ‘Our recent donation of kit to Sri Lanka went to the Ceylon Cricket Foundation set up and run by Tharindu Perria who told me: “For the underprivileged children who play cricket with no equipment or cricket clothing, the donations from Bat For A Chance and all our supports makes such a huge impact on the children, gives them a chance to develop and practice their cricket skills and follow their dreams”’.

While Sri Lanka is a Full Member of the ICC, meaning that the board receives a larger amount of money than most other nations, the county has been widely affected by the ongoing global pandemic, which has further complicated and ‘exacerbated an already challenging macroeconomic situation’. This economic instability could mean that families may be unable to afford cricket related equipment, which would restrict the accessibility of the sport. However, though the work of the Ceylon Cricket Foundation and Bat For A Chance means cricket remains a possibility for those less fortunate.   

Cricketers of Sierra Leone have also benefited from a donation sourced by the charity. When talking about the donation process, Gaffney explained that a member of Sierra Leone’s high-performance unit, Darren Talbot, got in touch with the charity about the country’s needs. Gaffney reflected that before Talbot ‘got in touch with me, I had next to no idea that cricket was even played in Sierra Leone. However, it didn’t come as much of a surprise as I was already working with Rwanda and Uganda’s cricket boards. Cricket is played in some of the most unexpected places in the world, and this really proves it!’ Compared to other donations, the ability to donate equipment to Sierra Leone was simplified for the charity. This was due to ‘the process of shipping and getting the kit into Sierra Leone’ being taken out of Gaffney’s hands. According to Talbot, the donation’s impact ‘will be invaluable for the players in Sierra Leone. We are preparing for upcoming ICC Africa events. They are missing key equipment such as boxes, thigh pads and decent bats. The collection will make an enormous difference to their preparations’.  

George Ngegba with members of the PortLoko District community during an SLCA initiative (Photo: Sierra Leone Cricket Association)

Alongside the donations, the charity has established a partnership, though UK brand Stag Cricket, with Prosport Caribbean. Prosport Caribbean is an online specialist sports store, based in the West Indies, who will be acting on behalf of Bat For a Chance out in Trinidad collecting and re-distributing kit. When talking about the partnership benefits, Gaffney stated that ‘The addition of a base in the West Indies is a massive help. To have a contact on the ground takes away the stress and expense of having to send over the kit. The distribution process will be so much easier and more personal for the recipients as fingers-crossed it will be hand-delivered. I would really like to take the opportunity to thank Rob Wyatt at Prosport Caribbean who has been endlessly supportive and kind to our cause and just brilliant to work with’.

The charity has also strengthened its relationships with PAYNTR whilst also ‘continuing to develop our contacts and working hard to be able to ensure a continuous stream of kit coming in so we can respond to the ever-increasing requests for help’.

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