Dozens of youngsters from the Stroud area are set to take part in the first cricket event at the world-famous Cheltenham Racecourse, writes Steve Hill.
The Big Cricket Celebration on Tuesday, August 10 will be the largest children’s cricket event ever staged and will celebrate the return of summer sport.
More than 4,000 girls and boys aged 5-11 are being invited to this one-off event on the finish line, in front of the Grandstand at the racecourse in the heart of the spectacular Gloucestershire countryside.
Gloucestershire Cricket Board chief executive Steve Silk said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many youngsters enjoying playing cricket again this summer after what has been a difficult and testing time for all of us. The smiling faces of children playing cricket have inspired us to stage The Big Cricket Celebration.
“Our goal at Gloucestershire Cricket Board is always to put bats and balls into the hands of as many children as we can, and this special event will involve as many children as possible, bringing them together from all corners of our county.
“We needed a venue with enough space to cater for a mass cricket event, and thanks to our friends at Cheltenham Racecourse we’re looking forward to what will be a memorable and unique day.
“Cheltenham Racecourse has seen some momentous racing victories and we’re hoping our cricketing youngsters will enjoy playing our beautiful game in such a world-famous setting.”
The day will also include a dedicated pitch for children helped by the Cheltenham-based Well Child charity, giving youngsters with health challenges a unique experience of cricket.
Clubs and community groups throughout Gloucestershire are being invited to bring their youngsters to the celebration on August 10 (10.30am-12.30pm). Covid-secure coaching sessions on the course’s home straight will be organised with members of Gloucestershire men’s and women’s squads.
To make it a day to remember, catering, ice cream vans, sweetie trucks, tours of the stadia and opportunities for photos with the Gold Cup will all be available to participants and their parents. A multi-sport mascot race will take place after an initial parade and further attractions will be announced over the next couple of weeks.
Steve Silk added: “We’ve selected the date of August 10 for The Big Cricket Celebration because it is the day after the Hundred fixture between Welsh Fire and Birmingham Phoenix, and precedes the start of the second men’s Test Match between England and India on August 12.
“We’re inviting all youngsters who have enjoyed our hugely successful All Stars and Dynamos programmes throughout the county this summer, but this event is open to all children who want to take part. It promises to be a very special day, and it’s free to all the children taking part.”
To register a child, visit: https://tinyurl.com/942bjrn4