Derby MCC Foundation Hubs eyeing up the chance of a final at Lord’s

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Young cricketers from state schools in Derby are eyeing up the chance to play at Lord’s this summer as part of a national competition run by MCC Foundation, the charitable arm of MCC. Teams from both the Sheffield Boys and Girls MCC Foundation Hubs programme are set to play in the first round of the competition this month with the prize of playing in the final at the Home of Cricket in July.

Last year, the Guildford and Bolton girls Hubs made the final as well as the Bradford and Reading boys Hubs with Guildford and Reading taking their respective crowns making it a day for Southern success.

Derby’s MCC Foundation Hub lead, Mark Barber, explained: “The idea of playing at lords is far beyond anything the players on the hubs could have dreamed of but having this as a potential target has given the players on both the boys and girls hubs the determination and desire to develop into the best cricketers they are capable of being.

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“The MCC Foundation Hubs have provided a much-needed opportunity to talented cricketers to access high quality coaching in order to achieve their potential.

Last year's Girls winners, Guildford Girls Hub, with the trophyLast year's Girls winners, Guildford Girls Hub, with the trophy
Last year's Girls winners, Guildford Girls Hub, with the trophy

“They have provided a lifeline to those released from the county pathway while provided an opportunity to further develop to those who hadn’t ever received any formal coaching.

“They are crucial in enhancing the current provision in Derby for both boys and girls and have unearthed some very talented cricketers who were not previously known outside of the cricket they currently play.

“The competitions give us and the players an opportunity to tie together everything the players have been working on over the course of the programme and will be a great platform to the players to showcase their skills.

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“With this being the first year of MCCF Hubs in Derby, winning the competitions isn’t the measure of success but will give us all an idea of the levels that can be achieved through this brilliant programme.”

The MCC Foundation Hubs Finals Day will see the conclusion of a 20-week long programme that will see state-educated boys and girls aged 16 and under from 126 sites across the nation competing against one another for a chance to play at the Home of Cricket. The first part of the programme between January and April provides 10 weeks of free weekly cricket sessions in Hubs across the UK who are then invited to take part in the MCC Foundation Hubs competition.

A recent £1 million funding boost from the MCC and the ECB has allowed the programme to expand from 77 Hubs across the UK last year, to 126 this year with plans to reach 150 Hubs and 5,000 young people in 2025.

This year there has been a particular focus on increasing female participation which has resulted in a 53% increase in the number of girls on the programme compared to last year.

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MCC Foundation Director, Dr. Sarah Fane, said: "MCC Foundation is passionate about breaking down the barriers to accessing cricket and enabling thousands of young people to fulfil their potential through the game. The Hubs programme is seeing fantastic growth and we strive to continue this year on year to provide more opportunities for state educated boys and girls across the UK.”

The MCC Foundation Hubs programme was launched in 2012 and in that time over 24,000 young people from state schools across the UK have taken part.

To find your nearest Hub, you can use this map here.