Recently, Emerging Cricket reported on the current situation in Sierra Leone, where the country’s cricketers and coaches are reliant on donations to ensure participation. The story is not unique to the country as associations and clubs all over the world face similar struggles in sourcing equipment. However, there are charities which have been set up to ensure that cricket continues its drive to become a sport for all.
One such charity is ‘Bat For A Chance’ which is an English-based charity set up by 16-year-old Will Gaffney. Emerging Cricket had the opportunity to speak to Gaffney to learn more about what the charity does and why its work is so important.
Gaffney stated that his inspiration for setting up the charity came during ‘a cricket tour to Sri Lanka’ and seeing ‘how the marvellous game spreads a smile’. Bat For A Chance aims to spread happiness through cricket ‘very simply by providing new and second-hand cricket kit and clothing to those in need around the word’.
When speaking about the power of cricket, Gaffney reflected that ‘Cricket has the ability or “power” to bring people together in a safe competitive environment who may be from all different backgrounds and walks of life. One great example of this is a fixture played in Lebanon between a private school and children from the Shatila refugee camp who may have never played the sport before. Similarly, refugee cricket projects in the UK offer a safe space for children who have travelled thousands of miles from their native county to enjoy something they either love and have “in the blood” from home or get the chance to play for the first time’.
The global need for charities like Bat For A Chance
‘I have been amazed at the surprising locations where cricket is played’, Gaffney remarks. And the need for charities like this is quite simple: ‘There are too many kids wanting or willing to play cricket who don’t have the chance to either start playing or make the most of their potential due to a lack of kit. We solely offer support through kit donations directly or via other charities and by linking people in the cricket community together’.
Alongside this, the charity aims to educate people who may be unaware of the issues faced by other cricketing nations through the way in which it makes its donations throughout the globe. The charity will be partnering up with touring teams and providing them with the kit to be donated to local clubs. This allows for the individuals on the tour ‘the chance to see first-hand the social impact of simple kit donations’.
The challenges faced by Bat For a Chance
Gaffney explained that the charity has to overcome a number of logistical challenges to ensure that it is able to spread the joy of cricket; ‘the biggest challenge we have to overcome is shipping and the associated costs and customs clearance. Getting kit where it is most needed, as I am sure you can imagine is very expensive. We also have the potential cost of random taxes, especially in countries where there is local corruption’.
If anybody wishes to donate to Bat For A Chance there are several ways to do so. Gaffney presented three ways that individuals can contribute to the efforts of the charity.
- Individuals can donate funding via their website to help cover shipping costs.
- You can get directly in touch with the charity to donate kit, the charity accepts any useable equipment. The charity has donation hubs across the south-east of England which are able to accept the equipment.
- By becoming ‘a donation hub host’, which involves housing one of the charity’s donation depositories which would allow people to donate equipment. A host does not necessarily have to be a cricket club but could be a school or sports club, with the main aim of creating a place which allows people to easily to donate to the cause.
You’re reading Emerging Cricket — brought to you by a passionate group of volunteers with a vision for cricket to be a truly global sport, and a mission to inspire passion to grow the game.
Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, please subscribe for regular updates, and follow EC on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Don’t know where to start? Check out our features list, country profiles, and subscribe to our podcast.
Support us from US$2 a month — and get exclusive benefits, by becoming an EC Patron.