The African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) programme marked the end of Black History Month with its community event in Bristol as the programme was celebrating its first birthday as a charity.
The event was attended by ACE founder Ebony Rainford-Brent, ACE Director of Programmes, Chevy Green and Steve Stephenson (MBE), also in attendance were Bristol’s very own Roy Hackett and Harry Bailey, two of the founding members of the Bristol West Indies Phoenix Cricket Club here in Bristol.
Gloucestershire Cricket Board’s Urban Development Officer, Masoor Khan and Gloucestershire Cricket player, Miles Hammond were also in attendance at the event held at the Rose Green Centre on Friday evening as members of the local community came together to find out more about ACE and the work they have been doing so far in the city. Around 100 people attended the occasion, which was ACE’s first official community event since its launch in Bristol in September, and included a showing of the historic “Fire in Babylon film”.
The evening was planned and put together by ACE Bristol Development Officer, Theo Gordon, who is leading the delivery of the programme in the Bristol region.
As a part of its Black History month event, ACE also had a two days of free holiday club over the half term where kids from the community had the opportunity to try different sports throughout the day.
Theo Gordon, the ACE Bristol Development Officer, said:
“Across the two days we had in total roughly 100 kids who joined us and were able to learn more about Ace and also how fun cricket can be.
Parents were very happy with Aces initiative to engage more with the community and making cricket more accessible to the kids”
In term 2 of the academic year, Ace will begin its school’s delivery programme in four local schools. These schools will benefit from free PE lessons and an After School club for an entire term.
Along with the school delivery, the ACE Bristol Community Hub for coaching sessions will be launched this Friday at the City Academy indoor hall, these sessions are completely free and everyone is welcome.
Speaking at the event on Friday, Ebony Rainford-Brent said:
“Initially when we started ACE it was just about finding the best talent but what became very clear is that it has to be built from the ground up, and that starts with the school and the community.
“It’s all about starting the momentum and showing people that ACE in Bristol means business, wants to have an impact and wants to make change.”
Theo Gordon added:
“We’re excited to introduce the ACE programme to the community and it’s great to see so many people come along to find out how they can benefit from us.
“We’ll be launching our Community Hub on Friday and will be going in to coach at four schools over the next term. Engagement is key and we want to get into as many schools as possible to let the community know that we are here for them and can meet their needs.”
For more information on the ACE programme and how to get involved, please contact Theo Gordon ACE Development Officer.