Kent Cricket has joined the rest of the cricket family which has launched more than 200 initiatives at all levels of the game from long-distance charity runs, delivering food to the vulnerable and a phone support service for those left isolated during lockdown.
The Club is proud to jointly launch ‘Together Through This Test’, a nationwide campaign to shine a light on how the cricket family has reached out to local communities during COVID-19.
The campaign will highlight some of the unsung heroes from across the professional and recreational game as well as providing updates on, as well as launching new, cricket-led initiatives that the general public can get involved in to help support their local community.
More than 200 campaigns have already been launched across cricket in England and Wales from volunteers at local clubs embarking on long-distance charity runs to players, coaches and staff at first-class counties phoning members to check on their wellbeing.
Kent Cricket took part in The Rainbow Run, raising over £10,000 for the COVID-19 appeals of hospital charities across the county, as well as launching The Spitfire Sessions, a way for Kent’s members and supporters to interact with the biggest and best names in the Club’s modern history.
The Club also marked the 100th birthday of NHS fundraiser Captain Tom Moore, whose family are from Kent and support Kent Cricket, by asking cricketers across the country to raise their bat for #CaptainTomsTon.
Today’s launch of Together Through This Test marks the collective response of cricket at all levels with a powerful short film, narrated by cricket fan Stephen Fry, that underlines the unique quality of a game where patience and digging in for the greater good is a virtue installed within all who play, watch and enjoy the sport.
ECB has set up a COVID-19 resource hub on ecb.co.uk/covid-19 to offer assistance, focussing on:
- Providing physical and mental health support to the general public, with NHS information, a Vitality ‘Fit 4 Cricket’ series and a Lord’s Taverners online hub for cricket-based activities
- Delivering fun and educational interactive resources for children in partnership with Chance to Shine
- Supporting the recreational game by providing emergency funds and resources
The key initiatives from the ECB to date include:
- Running 21 programmes providing food to NHS staff, the vulnerable and the homeless
- Supporting the isolated and vulnerable with #MakeThatCall where players, coaches, staff and former players ring older members and stewards from their club
- Our cricket clubs being used for COVID-19 testing and blood donations
- Three England Women’s players offered their services to the NHS – Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Sophia Dunkley
- Our players helping to create content to keep families entertained and active during lockdown with over 80 million video views to date
- The Lord’s Taverners creating a free online hub to support disadvantaged and disabled young people with physical activity and mental wellbeing during lockdown
- Running 49 fundraising initiatives. These range from England’s Physical Disability men’s team collectively running a marathon a day for ten days, in aid of the Lord’s Taverners, to a 5-year-old cricket fan from Cheshire doing the 1,000 Bat Challenge for the NHS after hospital staff saved his life
- Launching three financial schemes to provide immediate support for our national network of cricket clubs and leagues
From today, 5 to 11-year-old children and their parents can access eight weeks’ worth of curriculum-based educational resources covering topics from maths & English to art & PE, delivered in partnership with Chance to Shine.
This hub is not only a resource to help people during lockdown but will also provide information and support to the cricket community when cricket is phased back into society. The ECB and wider cricket network will be launching and supporting further initiatives in the coming weeks including:
- The Together through this Test auction launching tomorrow (22 May) at 15:00 running until Friday 29th May at 15:00. Run by Nottinghamshire CCC and involving all 18 First Class Counties, the MCC and the Professional Cricketers Association, it will raise money for local charities across England and Wales. The auction will be hosted on cricketauction.co.uk
- #DesignOurShirt competition, in partnership with New Balance, inviting kids to create a new England shirt
- #RaiseTheBat, an out-of-home campaign using billboards to celebrate key workers from the cricket family
- ‘Safe Haven’, a programme offering club grounds as safe spaces for elderly and vulnerable people to exercise as lockdown eases
- A nationwide campaign when lockdown lifts, in partnership with NatWest, to help the cricket network get back on its feet and recognise the challenge we have overcome
Kent Cricket’s CEO, Simon Storey, said: “Kent Cricket has been at the heart of the local communities across Kent for 150 years. During these difficult times, the Club has continued to offer support wherever we feel we can make a positive difference.
“In partnership with Shepherd Neame, we have launched ‘The Spitfire Sessions’, a digital on-line forum where Kent players, past and present, men’s and women’s stars, take questions and answers from members from supporters; it is all about helping people stay connected through this long period of isolation.
“The Rainbow Run has been a huge success. As well as the professional club taking part, 18 community clubs across the county joined us. The Rainbow Run has already raised over £10,000 for Kent NHS hospital charities and we’re shooting for a target of £15,000 by the time all the pledges are in. This is a real demonstration of ‘Together, we are Kent’.
“Everyone at Kent Cricket is playing their part and we’re fully behind this new ECB initiative. We are very much, together, getting ‘through this Test’.”
Clare Connor, ECB Managing Director, Women’s Cricket said: “Our sport means different things to different people but if this crisis has shown us one thing, it’s the way the cricket family pulls together when times are tough.
“We are inspired by and grateful to the whole cricket family from the grassroots of the game right up to our elite teams for their incredible team spirit, for not just thinking about their own survival but also about how they can support the wider community.
“We hope this campaign will shine a light on the amazing work being done, help signpost people to the support they need and provide a feeling of hope and solidarity for cricket fans during this challenging time.”
Stephen Fry said: “It’s wonderful how patient everyone has been during this incredibly difficult time. Like many cricket fans, I long to hear the sound of leather on willow again, but while we wait it out, we do of course have to stick together and do what we can to support each other.
“It was a pleasure to be able to read Jimmy Lee’s poem which so wonderfully connects the national game with the national spirit.”