Lycamobile goes out to bat for disadvantaged youth
Friday March 27, 2015 at 2:06pm
Children in some of the UK’s most underprivileged areas will be off the streets and playing cricket, thanks to a new partnership between Lycamobile and Chance to Shine. Lycamobile, the world’s biggest international mobile virtual network operator, is sponsoring the youth element of ‘Chance to Shine Street’, the cricket charity’s community programme (previously StreetChance). Lycamobile also becomes headline sponsor of the Chance to Shine Street Awards, which reward and recognise players and coaches involved in the programme. The award-winning initiative was launched in 2008 to bring cricket to young people in urban areas where there are few green spaces and fewer traditional cricket clubs. The charity is also using the game to promote social cohesion and connect young people from different backgrounds in diverse communities. England and Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara helped to launch the new partnership between Lycamobile and Chance to Shine at the Kia Oval. Speaking at the event, Ravi said, “Chance to Shine Street can help massively by giving kids access to somewhere to play cricket. They just want a place to play cricket, they don’t care how it’s done and sometimes those kids don’t have the opportunity in inner-cities.” The Lycamobile agreement follows the launch in January of Chance to Shine’s ‘Second Innings’ appeal in January 2015. The charity is aiming to raise £25 million in order to reach at least one million more young people in schools and communities around the country by 2020. Subaskaran Allirajah, chairman of Lycamobile said, “We have always had strong ties to cricket with our sponsorship of Surrey County Cricket Club and UK Test Match Grounds, so to support Chance to Shine and their ‘Street’ programme is a perfect synergy for us. Lycamobile’s mission is to keep communities connected wherever they are in the world which is at the core of the Chance to Shine work – something we are very proud to be associated with.” Youth projects currently run nationally in eight key areas: Birmingham, Bristol, Dewsbury, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, London and Manchester. The charity identified towns and cities that lacked cricket provision and areas within them that were socially deprived or had high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.