Street cricket striking out anti-social behaviour in Hull
YOUTH crime and anti-social behaviour in Hull is being tackled using street cricket.
The city is one of seven in the country working with the Cricket Foundation to bring the new form of the game to young people.
Called StreetChance, the scheme is supported by Barclays Spaces For Sport. It will offer street cricket sessions in inner-city areas.
A tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape, known as a tapeball, is used in the sessions. Innings last just 20 balls, and games are no longer than 20 minutes.
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Street cricket can be played with limited equipment and space, making it perfect for inner city venues, which lack green space.
The official launch in Hull was held at Thomas Ferens Academy yesterday, and included former Hull City manager Nick Barmby and Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire Cricket Club's director of professional cricket.
Mr Barmby said: "It is great in areas where kids are affected by youth crime and antisocial behaviour.
"This new form of cricket gets kids off the street. It also gives them a chance to try a sport which maybe they would not have tried before.
"The Hull launch is more personal to me because I am from here.
"It gives kids self-esteem and confidence in a team environment which can only be good.
"Sport is a perfect tool to give kids a focus in life. Anything like that I am more than happy to come and help out.
"They have really good coaches who will give really good advice and it is a great experience for them."
Working closely with Yorkshire Cricket Board and Hull City Council, StreetChance has developed projects in Hull since April.
One such scheme is at Kelvin Hall, where youngsters have the chance to play the sport after school, twice a week.
Adam Legard, 14, is a pupil at the Bricknell Avenue school.
He said: "My coach in Cottingham suggested I tried it, he said I would be good at it.
"More people will enjoy this form of cricket because you are not stuck in a field for hours."
Mr Moxon said: "The value this has had to the community has been proven.
"Cricket is a minority sport here. Hopefully, if young people enjoy this, it might be something they start to play."