What is Plymouth Wicketz?
Wicketz is a free cricket programme for young people aged 8-16, living in inner city communities. By establishing sustainable community cricket hubs, we provide year-round weekly cricket sessions in Plymouth with a focus on breaking down barriers, developing crucial life skills, creating stronger communities and enabling brighter futures for those taking part.
How does it work?
Katie Holland is dedicated development officer responsible for the running of multiple local hubs across Bristol. Katie works closely with the young people that come along to the sessions, many of whom are from hard-to-reach groups. Sessions – which use a soft ball – currently take place at venues in North Prospect, Honicknowle and Whitley and are open to all levels of ability. Every Wicketz session is run by qualified coaches and all equipment is provided.
How does it help young people?
Through cricket, Plymouth Wicketz aims to tackle local issues affecting young people and their communities. Alongside cricket coaching and games, the young people taking part have the chance to learn from role models, community leaders, local authorities and others. Specially designed workshops also boost well being, social education, community awareness, promote positive life choices and develop new life skills.
Wicketz offers a range of opportunities for volunteers from coaching to administration. If people are able to help on a long term basis, the Lord’s Taverners will help fund relevant training and qualifications such as, coaching badges and IT courses. This will not only help to sustain the Wicketz hub, but also offer future employment opportunities for the volunteer.
In addition to providing formal qualifications, Wicketz also provides informal support, mentoring and development opportunities for individuals who are able to commit time to the programme.
Participant Case Study
Eli – Plymouth, Wicketz
Eli aged 10 started at Wicketz in October 2018. Initially, he was a shy boy who got frustrated easily when things were not going his way. Through his commitment with Wicketz, his positive mindset and willingness to grow as an individual, we have been able to help support him with his anger. Katie (Plymouth Wicketz Development Officer), has noticed a huge change in his behaviour and how he handles his anger. Before attending Wicketz, he would get annoyed at himself or another participant, however, he has learnt several techniques to use when feeling overwhelmed with emotions. These include, talking to Katie about how he feels, walking away from the situation to cool off or taking the anger out on the ball when playing cricket.
When asking Eli how he believes Wicketz has helped him, he said “it has helped me with my bowling, batting, my anger, my ODD because I can take my anger out on the ball”. He goes onto further say “Wicketz makes me feel happy, I just feel calm”
Through his hard work and commitment with Wicketz, his skills in cricket progressed. Eli’s dedication to developing his skills have also developed his patience and confidence, which has earned him a place on three Wicketz festivals.
Eli is one of the longest members of Wicketz in Plymouth and his mum said, “he is proud and honoured to be part of Wicketz”. He wears his Wicketz t shirt with pride not only at weekly sessions but in his spare time. As one of the longest standing and now respected members at Wicketz, Eli often helps explain activities to the group and helps the coach to demonstrate them.
Eli has faced an extremely difficulty year with coronavirus and sadly, also his dad passed away. Despite this, Eli continued to attend Wicketz and retained a positive mind set, acting as a great role model and support for his peers and particularly for his younger brothers who he assists at sessions.
Eli’s Mum Kerry “I am always happy to send my 3 boys Wicketz, they come back very happy and tired in a good way! After the recent death in our family, the support and kindness were above and beyond anything I could ask for. Through increasing confidence, Eli’s has learned to manage his frustrations and his strength, positivity, enthusiasm and bubbly nature, despite difficult circumstances, is truly inspiring to those around him.
For more information about volunteering or to sign up to one of our Wicketz Hubs please contact:
Wicketz Development Officer