ECB report finds cricket boosts wellbeing and social inclusion

The England and Wales Cricket Board’s first Impact of Cricket report has shown that playing the game has developed wellbeing and social inclusion and boosted children’s confidence.

The ECB worked with The Sports Consultancy to assess the effect its projects have had with a number of positives emerging around fitness, mental health and engaging within communities.

Eighty per cent of players agreed that playing cricket keeps them active in a way they would not be without it, with 96 per cent of those surveyed by the ECB saying playing cricket makes them feel happy, with a significant majority also agreeing it makes them feel more relaxed (85 per cent) and more worthwhile (81 per cent)

Plus, 83 per cent of parents said their child’s confidence has increased from taking part in the ECB’s All Stars and Dynamos programmes.

The report also highlighted the social cohesion cricket can foster, with over 90 per cent of players feeling the game makes them feel part of the community and 83 per cent saying they appreciate people from different backgrounds having been involved in cricket.

ECB chief executive officer Richard Gould said: “The Impact of Cricket demonstrates the power of our sport and the positive effect it can have on the lives of players, fans or volunteers – and on the communities where it is played.

“By going through the process of producing an impact report, it was our aim to learn more, both about what is working well and where there are opportunities to have greater impact.

“Our ambition is to make cricket the most inclusive sport in England and Wales. While we know we have much more work to do, this report shows that cricket is delivering significant benefits today and that we have solid foundations on which to deliver lasting change, to more people, in future.”

Key findings from Impact of Cricket report

  • 1.1 million children played cricket through ECB programmes, partner programmes or organised play last year.
  • 2023 has seen 717 new women’s and girls’ teams – a 20 per cent growth in the last year.
  • 526 recreational clubs have been funded to make their facilities more accessible and welcoming in a single year due to a focus on breaking down barriers to people getting involved.
  • Access to cricket in urban areas is improving thanks to money targeted into the most deprived areas, with over 30,000 players engaged to play through hubs which bring together cricket and other local services.
  • With support from the #Funds4Runs initiative with LV=, over 3,000 bursaries have helped people from underrepresented groups to start coaching cricket since 2021.

Source : Sky Sports