Sport for Life International (SFLI) is an international community education and cricket programme for 8-18 year olds currently running in Birmingham UK and in Barbados and St Lucia in the West Indies. Aimed particularly at those who have not been successful either at school or, very often, in society, it uses the power of cricket to improve the self-esteem of young people by helping to improve their educational and sporting skills.
Across the globe, Sport for Life International has helped more than 20,000 young people succeed since 2008 including:
- UK – Birmingham – more than 15,500 young people.
- West Indies – Barbados, St Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and St Vincent & The Grenadines – programmes engaging with more than 3,500 young people.
- Pakistan – Mirpur, Azad Kashmir – more than 1,000 young people in two year intervention 2010-12.
In the UK, Sport for Life International’s coaching and education programmes are based at Birmingham primary and secondary state schools and at community cricket grounds being redeveloped for use.
Main areas of each programme’s focus are to:
- encourage young people and their communities to increase physical activity and improve health and wellbeing
- provide hour or two hour coaching sessions every week throughout the year
- provide fun one or two week summer camps
- ensure that as many young school-age children in inner-city areas of disadvantage as possible have the opportunity to play sport
- guarantee those children attend after-school and in curricular clubs in safe surroundings
Pilot programmes from 2010-2013 centred on 4 grounds in Birmingham in conjunction with 32 local primary and secondary schools and sponsored by the NHS. Each school received a 10 week healthy lifestyle and coaching programme delivered in one hour sessions by Sport for Life coaches.
From 2014-present day, this work has progressed and now includes the provision of cricket, football, fitness and tennis programmes to a further 10 schools in Birmingham’s most challenging areas.
In 2019-20, partnered by the Central England Co-operative, SFLI will work with communities, sports and local authorities to plan a Sport for Life Centre in east Birmingham. This will consist of indoor facilities suitable for cricket, football and tennis, as well as more sports and bring more opportunity to young people and their communities.
From 2020, SFLI is partnering with the Lawn Tennis Association to develop two Schools of Tennis in east Birmingham to commence full-time coaching from summer 2020 onwards.
Sport for Life Barbados (SFLB) is the legacy programme of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007. It was founded by Lord Richard Newby OBE and CEO Jane Power working with the late Stephen Alleyne, the ICC World Cup Director responsible for legacy to increase the World Cup’s overall impact. Under Chair Brenda Pope, Partner Advisory at KPMG, Sport for Life Barbados was officially adopted by the Barbados Cricket Association in 2009 and is based at the Stephen Alleyne Sport for Life Learning Centre at Kensington Oval.
Main areas of focus are to:
- target under-achieving children aged 10-15 years old from disadvantaged backgrounds
- base them at a Test Cricket Ground to inspire them to acquire basic life skills plus: English, mathematics, IT, healthy lifestyle training, cricket
- partner Barbados education, sport and corporate organisations plus volunteers to help Sport for Life Barbados achieve its targets
- demonstrate the power of cricket to inspire young people to change their lives and achieve their ambitions
Since 2009, Sport for Life Barbados has helped more than 1,000 children and young people in Barbados to stay in school, achieve academic skills and play cricket. Its Programme Director is Kathy Harper-Hall.
In the West Indies, Sport for Life International has been the official legacy partner for the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010 and official charity to the England Cricket Tours in 2014, 2015 and 2017. It has benefitted from support from The England & Wales Cricket Board, The England Cricket Team, The West Indies Cricket Board and The West Indies Cricket Team during their tour of England in 2012.