2024 represents a step change in the MCC Foundation’s (MCCF) National Hub Programme. Set up in 2011 to provide high quality coaching and match play for state-educated players, the Hubs stand ready to support MCCF’s, ECB’s and MCC’s mission to make cricket a game for all.
Following the ICEC report, the ECB and MCC have increased their funding to the MCC Foundation to bring game-changing investment into the hugely successful Hubs programme, helping it to expand from 77 in 2023, to 126 in 2024, aiming to rise again to 150 in 2025. This expansion, possible only through the support and commitment from both organisations, will provide free-to-access winter coaching and summer match play to more than 5,000 young people every year. 30% of participants in 2023 were female and through this funding the Hubs are aiming to achieve gender parity by 2025.
“The brand-new girls’ Hub in Shepherd's Bush offers a fantastic opportunity for girls in the local area to learn and develop their cricket. It also offers a safe space from which to make new friends, try new things and improve both physical and mental wellbeing. It is an invaluable opportunity for state schoolgirls and it would not be possible without the support of the ECB and MCC Foundation”.
Briony Brock (MCCF Shepherd’s Bush Hub Manager)
The Hubs are delivered in partnership with MCCF’s colleagues from across the network, with County cricket boards and Foundations driving impact in their local areas. The programme is providing opportunities to young people from under-served communities to access high-quality coaching throughout the winter period. The Hubs have a focus on identifying and nurturing the talent that exists within state schools, helping to bridge the gap between participation programmes and the County pathways.
“The MCCF Cricket Hub initiative in Lancashire plays a pivotal role in the development of young people from deprived areas. Through cricket, the programme aims to empower individuals dealing with challenging circumstances, offering a platform for skill development, social cohesion, and physical wellbeing. By strategically focusing on underserved communities, the MCCF Cricket Hubs in Lancashire are bringing positive change by bridging gaps and creating opportunities for personal growth and community resilience.”
Ammar Ashraf (Urban Cricket Manager, Lancashire Cricket Foundation)
In 2023, the MCCF Hubs reached individuals from over 1,400 state schools across the UK. Together, with the ECB and MCC, the Foundation is determined to ensure the Hubs extend their reach to every county in the country.
“We are excited to bring the MCC Foundation Hubs to Derby. The funding to run this programme is gratefully received and allows us to further our engagement with young people in priority areas of the city. Providing high-quality coaching to under-represented groups is one of the Derbyshire Cricket Foundation’s key priorities, so we are pleased to provide an alternative method of accessing the talent pathway as we aim to empower communities and transform lives through cricket”.
Mark Barber (Community & Partnerships Manager, Derbyshire Cricket Foundation)
The increased support for MCC Foundation demonstrates ECB’s and MCC’s ongoing desire to bridge the gap for those who lack opportunities, and to support talented players from state schools to access the talent pathway. Together, with its County partners, MCCF is determined to make the Hub Programme a force for good in the cricketing landscape, ensuring that young state-educated players can fulfil their potential in the game.
“The Scarborough MCCF Hubs have been fantastic for both boys and girls in Scarborough and its surrounding areas. The Hubs have allowed boys and girls to integrate with their peers from different social/economic backgrounds, forging new, lifelong friendships. It has also allowed all the children to access positive health benefits as a result of the additional exercise to what they normally take part in during a "normal" school day. Cricket also provides the Hub participants with clear rules and boundaries which they must follow – rules that are often transferable to everyday life.”
Andy Inns (MCCF Scarborough Hub Manager