Darren Bicknell, ex-professional cricketer and Belvoir Cricket & Countryside Trust director, was the Service to Sport winner at the Grantham is Great Awards.
Here, he looks forward to the charity’s programme for 2016, and beyond.
* Can you sum up the trust’s achievements to date?
Since founding in 2008, the charity has reached out to more than 13,000 primary age and special needs children, and this year we hope to see another 3,000. Our primary aim is to influence children’s lives through education and sport, so they lead healthy, active lifestyles. However, none of this could be achieved without the help of our volunteers, funders, local schools and cricket clubs, as well as the wider community.
* What’s new for 2016?
We run four programmes to get children up and active, and all are expanding this year. We have just held our annual table cricket tournament for special needs schools, and will soon be taking our Teach Cricket programme into primary schools in Grantham, Melton and the Vale of Belvoir. We will host 27 cricket and countryside education days this summer, welcoming around 30 schools and 1,800 children to the Belvoir estate to play kwik cricket, and to learn about the countryside. We will also be running our Belvoir Bees kwik cricket programme at seven venues from the week beginning April 11. These offer 90 minutes of activity every week for boys and girls aged six to 11, and promote inclusion with the emphasis firmly on fun. Our new venues for 2016 are West Grantham Academy St John’s in Grantham on Mondays and Asfordby Parish Hall on Tuesdays. Returning for 2016 are Huntingtower Community Primary Academy on Tuesdays, Great Dalby Cricket Club and Hose Village Hall on Wednesdays, Harlaxton Sports and Social Club on Thursdays and Belvoir Cricket Club, Knipton, on Fridays. Knipton Bees includes a session for four- and five-year-olds. Sessions run from 6pm-7.30pm. Contact assistant director Neil Atkins on 07547 554288 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* Tell us about the countryside education.
The cricket andcountryside education days at Belvoir give children from surrounding rural communities, towns and cities the opportunity to experience new activities which might otherwise be unavailable to them, from meeting a farmer or woodman, to seeing birds of prey or fishing demonstrations. The days touch on aspects of the national curriculum, and give children the chance to learn away from the classroom. This year we are working with a local teacher to develop a classroom resource for schools, which can be used both before and after their visit, based around the food we eat and the importance of a healthy diet and exercise.
* What are your hopes for the future?
The trust has the ambition of creating a new, all-year-round sports and community facility on the site of the Knipton Cricket Ground Pavilion. We envisage a single-storey, eco-friendly building in keeping with the area, which will enable us to deliver more activities and countryside education projects in new and exciting ways. It’s early days and we are still at the feasibility/consultation stage, but it is nevertheless very exciting, so watch this space!
* How can readers find out more about the trust?
Watch our video at http://bit.ly/244SYuO, visit www.bcctrust.org.uk and follow us on Facebook or Twitter @BCCTBelvoir