Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) – the official charity of Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) – are launching a new cricket kit recycling scheme to help support accessibility in the game.
The Cric-Kit recycling programme aims to create awareness and a culture across Yorkshire and the UK whereby donating, recycling and reusing sports clothing is done more frequently to help break down barriers in communities to participation.
The cricket kit recycling initiative will launch at the Bilal Sports Centre in Harehills, Leeds – the YCF’s first cricket kit recycling hub – at a special community event, with YCCC men’s players and stars from the Northern Diamonds, on Friday 23 September.
Over the last few months the Foundation has collected hundreds of usable kits from across Yorkshire Cricket and kind donations from across the region.
The event will see an extensive cricket ‘walk-in-wardrobe’ set up with the kit redistributed to community groups and young people, who can put it to great use in their communities.
Kendal James, the Participation Manager for the YCF, and founder of the initiative, said: “Sport kit and cricket equipment is expensive for a lot of people, it’s the biggest barrier to taking part in cricket.
“We know being active is so good for both our physical and mental wellbeing and by working with cricket clubs and local people we can save waste, save money and feel good knowing we have helped break down barriers to participation.”
Kendal added to support the Bilal Sports Centre’s lead and to make the scheme more accessible and easier for donations to be made, the Foundation’s aim is to encourage “as many cricket clubs in Yorkshire” to join the scheme in 2022 and onwards.
The Cric-Kit initiative is supported by Zero Waste Leeds – the people behind Leeds School Uniform Exchange, an initiative that is making it easier for people across Leeds to share and access good quality second hand school uniform.
Zero Waste Leeds does this by supporting people, community groups and schools across the city to set up online or pop-up school uniform exchanges. This summer alone, more than 10,000 items of school uniform were given out to more than 1,000 families at 37 pop up shops across Leeds, saving Leeds families an estimated £170,000.
Following the success of Leeds School Uniform Exchange, Zero Waste Leeds is now piloting a similar model for sports kit and equipment called Together for Sport with sports organisations to replicate a similar model for sports clothing – with the Cric-Kit scheme one of the first in the city to create awareness around recycling sports kit.
Kendal said: “The Zero Waste Leeds scheme is a brilliant initiative – I think it’s vital and I’m really glad that Cric-Kit can be part of a wider network across Leeds.
“With the rising cost of living heavily weighing on the minds of families across the country, Cric-Kit can support families who may not have even thought they could have supported their children to play cricket because of costs involved.”
The Cric-Kit scheme also aims to help the environment as high plastic content – used in some cricket equipment and in polyster kit – can end up in landfills when they get thrown out.
Kendal said: “Not only will Cric-Kit save local families money but it will also greatly benefit the environment too.
“The Foundation is a strong supporter of equity of access and we hope we inspire many cricket clubs across Yorkshire and further afield to join the Cric-KIT scheme.”
Gill Coupland, Co-director of Zero Waste Leeds, added: “We are delighted to support Cric-Kit – a wonderful scheme that helps to ensure that no child is excluded from playing cricket because they don’t have or can’t afford the right kit.
“By unlocking the resource of used sport kit, you are helping to reduce waste and make this great team sport accessible to more children.”
Alongside Yorkshire Cricket players more than 40 young people who are part of the Foundation’s National Citizen Service (NCS) and ‘Changemakers’ programmes will be helping out at the ‘walk-in-wardrobe’ launch event, which will also feature free cricket sessions for young people and entertainment.
The ‘changemakers’ are a variety of young people aged between 16 and 18 who have graduated from the NCS scheme and decided to stay on to become more involved in community work.
Northern Rail are supporting the Cric-Kit launch by supplying the young people with supported transport travel vouchers, to help them attend on the day.
Following the launch the Foundation hopes to select a handful of proactive clubs across the region who have expressed an interest in becoming a ‘Cric-Kit Hub’ early next year.
If you would like to find out more about Cric-Kit or to get involved please contact Kendal James, on:
Cric-Kit launch 2022
When: Friday, 23 September (3pm-5pm)
Where: Bilal Sports Centre, Harehills, 60 Ashton Rd, Harehills, Leeds LS8 5BZ