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World Sport Day

Monday 25th June, next week,  is London 2012 World Sport Day and every school in the UK is being invited to take part.  It is hoped that thousands of schools across the country will join together in celebrating the athletes of the world in the final UK-wide “Get Set” event before the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and I hope that Primary and Secondary schools throughout my constituency will join in.( see
The question, though, is how many schools now have their own “sports days” and how many schools still play cricket?

There is no doubt that the sell-off of school playing fields for development and “health and safety” considerations and CRB checks upon otherwise willing volunteers has had an even greater impact upon England`s Summer Game than the weather.
Which is why, at the House of Commons, Sir Ian Botham and ex-Hampshire cricketer Lawrence Prittipaul, and his co-founder Trevor McArdle ,  teamed up to introduce, in the rain, a large number of Members of Parliament to the game of “Cage Cricket”.


There may not be too many school cricket pitches left but there are, around the country, some 12,500 Multi-use Games Areas in “cages”.. (I can think of several locally).  If you add to that school sports halls and indoor nets and the like then there are the best part of fifty thousand facilities in which it is possible for  six participating cricketers  to play, all the year round, all the year round, a game that is cheap in terms of kit, fast, safe, hugely enjoyable and very easy to learn. So easy that teams of journalists and Members of Parliament, (not always the sharpest tools in the box) egged on by “Beefy” Botham, were able to grasp the rules and, in the rain, start playing within minutes. 


Later in the week some of us were lucky enough to hear Gordon Greenidge and “Richie” Richardson, two of the West Indies all-time greats, talking to the All-Party Cricket Group about their sport. Asked why he was so good at the game, Richie Richardson explained that as a kid  he played cricket before school, during the morning break, during the afternoon break and during the evening every day. Not everyone has that chance but Cage Cricket offers a great opportunity to any young, or not-so-young, man or woman that feels like picking up a bat and getting seriously competitive. 


If, with London 2012 World Sports Day on Monday in mind, you want to find out about a new sport  just visit   It`s good.

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