~ The Club will provide free coaching for girls commencing on 8th December for ages 6-14 ~

Barbados, 20 November 2023: Bat For a Chance (BFAC), the cricket charity started by 14-year-old Will Gaffney, helping underprivileged children experience the joy of cricket, has partnered with CPL franchise Barbados Royals and the Roland Butcher Academy to launch the Barbados Royals Girls Cricket Club.
The Barbados Royals Girls Cricket Club will be a free-to-attend cricket-based initiative empowering young girls between the ages of 6-14, encouraging them to take up the sport, and thereby also promoting gender equality through the power of cricket. The Royals, who also conducted the Barbados Royals Cricket Cup for girls and boys before the start of CPL and WCPL 2023 seasons, aim to encourage participation and accelerate the overall development of the talented girls from Barbados.
Meanwhile, founded in 2019, Bat for a Chance, under the guidance of Will Gaffney and his trustees, has grown exponentially over the past four years, starting as a small project in a teenager’s bedroom and blossoming into an organisation with two main arms:

Global Kit Distribution:
Bat for a Chance has been working tirelessly to provide cricket kit and equipment to projects around the world. Since its inception, the charity has collected cricket gear in the UK and distributed it to over 15,000 men, women, and children across four continents, supporting more than 50 causes globally.

Cricket for Social Change:
In 2023, BFAC launched fundraising efforts to establish Cricket for Social Change projects worldwide, collaborating with renowned figures such as Gary Kirsten, Russel Arnold, Ebba Qureshi, Roland Butcher, Lydia Greenway and England’s Chris Jordan. To date, over £70,000 has been raised, with a goal of reaching £100,000, by Christmas. The Barbados Royals Cricket Club will be BFAC’s first co-funded initiative in partnership with the two-time CPL champions and with the Roland Butcher Academy based in Barbados.

When talking about the Barbados Royals Girls Cricket Club, Hayley Matthews, the Barbados Royals and West Indies Cricket Captain, said, “As a proud Barbadian and a cricket enthusiast, I am excited to see the launch of the Barbados Royals Girls Cricket Club. It’s more than cricket; it’s about empowering the next generation of girls. I fully support this initiative and look forward to visiting the project.”

Jake Lush McCrum, Chief Executive Officer, Barbados Royals, also shared his thoughts on the franchise’s landmark grassroots development initiative. He said, “During the WCPL season, we had some insightful conversations with our captain Hayley Matthews, who shared how passionate she is about promoting women’s cricket in the region, while also highlighting the need to bring in more girls into the game. At the Royals, one of our core focuses is to encourage inclusivity through participation among young girls, and this project will have a significant impact in that area. We are excited to be partnering with Bat for a Chance for this sustainable cricket project which will be giving an opportunity to more girls within Barbados to develop both on and off the cricket field.”

The Barbados Royals Girls Cricket Club
The establishment of a girls’ cricket club in Barbados is a significant step toward promoting gender equality in sports. This initiative aims to empower girls, break down stereotypes, and contribute to the development of women’s cricket in the region. The club will be completely free to participate, co-funded by Bat For a Chance and the Barbados Royals.

In its first year, the project has three key objectives:
•     Empower 100 girls aged 8-16 through cricket.
•     Promote physical fitness, teamwork, and empowerment.
•     Foster leadership, confidence, and inclusion.

These objectives reflect the commitment of Roland Butcher, Director of the Caribbean for Bat For a Chance“As someone who has broken down barriers in cricket, I am honoured to be a part of the Barbados Royals Girls Cricket Club. This initiative will not only empower girls but also showcase the immense potential in the Caribbean. We are committed to making a lasting impact.”

The club will offer a wide range of activities for girls, including weekly cricket training, friendly matches and tournaments, leadership and empowerment workshops, community outreach programs, and creating a hub and social location for girls in the community.

Founder of Bat For a Chance, Will Gaffney, expressed the organization’s dedication to using the game for social good stating, “At Bat For a Chance, we believe that empowering young girls through cricket is more than just a game; it’s a journey. This initiative is a testament to our dedication to creating opportunities and breaking down barriers, which is what BFAC is all about.”

The launch of the Barbados Girls Cricket Club is a pivotal moment for both gender equality in sports and the development of young talent in Barbados. By breaking down barriers and providing opportunities for girls to excel in cricket, the initiative is not only fostering future leaders but also contributing to the overall growth of women’s cricket in the region.

Girls and families can sign up for the club to be part of this program here.