Young people in Thamesmead are being given the chance to learn professional cricket skills and enjoy time playing the sport, thanks to a partnership between Peabody, who are leading the long-term regeneration of the town, and Platform Cricket.
Year four children from local primary schools are invited to take part in free, hour-long sessions every Tuesday evening as part of a 10-week programme.
The sessions, nicknamed ‘Thamesmead Tigers’, take place at the cricket pitch at the Southwood Road entrance of Birchmere Park.
Each week children learn a new skill, such as catching, batting, bowling or fielding, before ending the session with a game.
In 2021 the pitch was installed by the London Cricket Trust in partnership with Peabody and funded by the England and Wales cricket board. This was after a Peabody consultation with local residents found that people were interested in having a cricket pitch in Thamesmead.
Working with local communities and partners to improve health and wellbeing is key part of Peabody’s long-term plan to improve, grow and look after the town.
The pitch has grown in popularity with nearby schools and people from the wider community.
Dan Wells, Peabody’s Health & Wellbeing Lead for Greenwich and Bexley, said: “It’s been great to see how well-used the cricket pitch has been, especially with so many children making good use of it.
“Working with Platform Cricket has meant that more young people have been given the chance to take part in a fun activity that allows them to enjoy time outdoors, socialise and learn skills that they can use on and off the pitch.”
Jahid Ahmed is the senior HUB supervisor and head coach at Platform Cricket, who leads the sessions in Thamesmead. He said: “We want as many kids to come along as possible so the programme is free and we keep the sessions local so that families can get to them easily.
“Cricket is a unique sport that children can benefit from in lots of different ways. Obviously learning how to work as a team is the main thing, but then there’s the physical activity and the social aspect as well.”
Thamesmead Tigers cricket coaching runs at Birchmere Park until Tuesday, July 25.
Sessions take place on Tuesdays from 6.30pm – 7.30pm.
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