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Surrey County Cricket Club - The Ace Programme

Photographer Ashley Western

The ACE Programme was launched by Surrey County Cricket Club in January 2020 in response to the decline of the black British professional players by 75%, and less than 1% of the recreational game. The ACE Programme was designed to engage young people of African and Caribbean Heritage and a talent search was launched.

In Black History Month, October 2020, following significant investment of £540,000 from Sport England, The ACE Programme Charity launched as an independent charity following the success of an ACE Academy with 25 scholars in a bid to have a wider national impact.

The charity aims to 'Support Diverse Talent from the Grassroots to the Elite' in the following ways:

The programme aims to build grassroots cricket programmes, develop talent pathways and talent ID systems in targeted black communities and cities across the UK.
Provide elite academy programmes and scholarships to talented players to allow them to fulfil their potential. The academy and scholars also will act as an inspirational piece to the the community.
ACE will support the development of quality coaches and volunteers from the community as well as provide mentoring to support players, coaches and families.
The ACE Programme Charity aims to inspire the wider game to support reconnecting with the Black community. The vision is to be a catalyst to accelerate change and has a ambition to  become a national charity operating in five key cities with target communities. ACE will provide equal opportunity equality for females, and will look to develop key strategic partnerships and capture key insights as the charity grows. ACE also appreciates the chance for sport to have a wider impact on the community.