Young Leaders for Cricket
581. Paul Daniels
Paul Daniels set up ‘Young Leaders for Cricket’ in 2010 to give young people the skills to volunteer for their local cricket club and help grassroots cricket to thrive.
Having reinvigorated his home club with a ‘cricket for all’ ethos which has seen children as young as three, a girls’ team and a disability section flourish, Paul turned his attention to creating a programme which would ensure clubs had the volunteers they needed. Over 700 under 16s have taken part in Paul’s programme, leading to immeasurable benefits for their communities and themselves. As well as gaining qualifications in coaching, umpiring, grounds work and first aid, participants develop life skills such as problem-solving and social skills and build friendships and confidence. Everyone going through the programme is required to volunteer for their local cricket club for at least 30 hours, with some giving up to 200 hours. An estimated 28,000 hours of service have been given by Young Leaders. Paul is now working with the England and Wales Cricket Board to create a new programme for 16 – 18 year olds and assess the possibility of rolling Young Leaders for Cricket out nationally. He is ambitious about the programme’s potential to be replicated in other sports communities.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Paul’s energy and passion is breathing new life into grass roots cricket and ensuring the game has the skilled volunteers it needs to continue to thrive. Young Leaders for Cricket is a fantastic initiative set to grow from strength to strength, throughout the country and across other sports. I’m pleased to name Paul a Point of Light.”
Tom Harrison, CEO of the ECB said:
“Young Leaders for Cricket is a shining example of the power of cricket to make a positive difference in our communities. What Paul and his team of volunteers has achieved is extraordinary and we will continue to work with him to support and develop this inspirational programme.”
Paul’s local MP, Bob Neill said:
“Leaders for Cricket is a fantastic initiative that has directly benefited hundreds of young people in the local area, and countless more in the wider community through the voluntary work it promotes. It is precisely to recognise the success of schemes like this, and the extraordinary dedication and energy of people like Paul, that the Point of Light award was established. It is well deserved and I wish Leaders for Cricket every success in the future”
“I have a passion for giving young people the opportunity to prove themselves, not only to the communities they live in, but to themselves. I’m proud that Young Leaders in Cricket gives young people a place to channel the talent and drive many don’t realise they have and to become volunteers. Sport has an unparalleled power to inspire young people. For the young people I work with that sport is cricket, but I strongly believe there is enormous potential to replicate this across numerous other sports. I am pleased to be named a Point of Light for this exciting and rewarding work.”