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

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Young cricketers from state schools in Newcastle 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 Newcastle 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.

Newcastle’s MCC Foundation Hub lead, Matthew Senior, explained: “The prospect of playing at Lords is a fantastic incentive for the players and an opportunity of a lifetime.

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“With Newcastle Boy’s previously playing the final at Lords, I can say first hand the experience was fantastic for all involved for the players coaches and family of the players.

Guildford girls were victorious last yearGuildford girls were victorious last year
Guildford girls were victorious last year

“The MCCF Hub programme is so important to young cricketers across Northumberland and Newcastle, with many young cricketers given the opportunity to train over winter with players of their own age and ability.

“The programme has continued to grow and improve over the recent years and it’s a fantastic part of junior cricket across the county.

“The national competition is a great part of the foundations Hub programme, adding the competition gives it even greater meaning and allow both boys and girls to compete with other Hubs across the country and challenge themselves.

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“With previous years experiences in the competition it’s always a great challenge and competition which brings the best out of the players playing against such a similar standard of players.”

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 which 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.

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