!!! WE'RE GOING NATIONAL !!!
IS ACE COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU?
ACE will use the financial support from the ECB to establish programmes in four more locations
The ECB is to support the continued expansion of the ACE programme so that it can provide opportunities for young cricketers from Black communities in more locations across England.The ACE Programme will be making its way to Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds and 3 London borough's. Each location will follow suit with the already established locations by building grassroot cricket programmes, helping to develop talented players and increasing access to play for those from both Black communities and lower socio-economic areas.
The ECB will also fund a National Operations Manager role at ACE to support the delivery of the expansion plans. Since its launch in south London, ACE has already created cricketing opportunities for more than 6,000 young people through its community hubs, academy, elite programme, trials and schools’ sessions. Over 10,000 young cricketers are expected to pass through ACE’s Talent ID programme each year in the new areas, with over 40,000 school children due to participate in ACE school schemes annually, with sessions due to launch in both primary and secondary schools in those areas.
Clare Connor, Managing Director of England Women’s Cricket, says:
“The team at ACE are doing brilliant work creating opportunities for young people from Black communities to play cricket and develop their talent. After their early impact in south London, Bristol and Birmingham, we are really excited to be helping ACE to increase access to cricket in more urban centres across the country. We know that targeted opportunities and support are vitally important in making cricket a game for everyone and ensuring that every young cricketer can fulfil their potential.”
Over 600 young local cricketers are expected to pass through ACE’s Talent ID programme each year with over 2,500 school children due to participate in ACE school schemes annually, with sessions due to launch in both primary and secondary schools across the county.
Former England cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent, now a commentator on Sky Sports and the BBC, is Chair of the ACE Programme which was originally setup in 2019 before becoming an independent charity in late 2020 after receiving £540,000 in funding from Sport England. ACE then formed a partnership with Royal London, allowing it to launch in Bristol.
That financial support has allowed ACE to so far engage over 6,000 young cricketers in London, Bristol and Birmingham, as well as handing out over 200 trials, which have led to a total of 109 scholarships for talented young players in the ACE National Academy.
“ACE has been delivering across other boroughs south London for two years and we’ve already seen the impact it has created, to be able to start working in Greenwich and Lewisham, both of which have giant potential, is incredibly exciting”, said Rainford-Brent.
“ACE is focused on connecting the dots to help under-represented groups from the grassroots to the elite. We know this programme will help open up new pathways to do exactly that and are excited to partner with the team at Kent to have an impact.
“We’re really grateful to Kent for this meaningful support, allowing us to build on our initial backing from Sport England and start taking ACE to the next level – a truly national organisation.”
The ACE initiative incorporates talent spotting within schools, followed by trials and the awarding of scholarships to support endeavours to breakthrough into the professional game.
James Reid, Head of Community Cricket at Kent Cricket, said: “We are really excited to partner with ACE across our South-East London boroughs.“The ACE Programme has a proven track record of giving opportunities for young cricketers from Black communities the opportunity to experience cricket and develop their skills to take them to the next level. Kent Cricket is focused on ensuring that cricket is a force for good in our community and the ACE programme has the potential to change young people’s lives.
“With more opportunities and access to the game, more people will have the chance to reach their potential which is critical as we progress on our journey to ensure that cricket is a game for everyone in Kent.”
We're really grateful to the ECB for this meaningful support, allowing us to build on our initial backing from Sport England and start taking ACE to the next level - a truly national organisation.
ACE is focused on connecting the dots to help under-represented groups from the grassroots to the elite. We know this programme will help open up new pathways to do exactly that and are excited to partner with the teams at all these different counties to have an impact..”