Bristol Host First Wicketz South West Festival of the Year

On Tuesday 13th February, Bristol Free School played host to the first Wicketz South West Festival of 2024.

Participants from across our hubs in Bristol, as well as from our partner programmes in Cardiff and Plymouth travelled for an action-packed day of matches and workshops.

Breaking the Ice

Tomos Barry, South Wales Wicketz Development Officer, got the day off to a flyer with some icebreaker activities for our teams. Our teams first had to work together in a tagging game, before showing off their artistic skills by designing a t-shirt with their team values.

a group of boys designing a Wicketz t-shirt with their team values

In the morning, the children were also treated to a first aid workshop from Royal Life Saving Society instructor Tim Sanders. Our participants learnt how to put people into the recovery position, and apply slings correctly. There was even some fake blood!

first aid instructor showing group how to put someone into the recovery position

Competition Hots Up

Whilst the workshops were taking place upstairs, things were getting competitive in the sports hall. Sixes were hit, wickets were taken and there was even a hat-trick for Wicketz South Wales’ Abdullah! For some, it was their first experience of playing pairs matches. By the end of the day everyone was an expert.

Amelia, aged 11, said:

“We worked really well as a team. I’ve made new friends on this trip from my team”

image of girl batting at southwest festival

Keeping our Communities Safe

In the afternoon, we were visited by two local PCSOs from Avon and Somerset Police. Following recent events in Bristol, Sarah and Andy delivered a session on knife crime awareness. The session was useful in educating and reassuring our participants about some of the issues arising in their communities.

Wilf Brooke, Wicketz Development Officer, added:

It’s really important that our young people feel safe within their communities. The visit today from PCSOs Sarah and Andy has helped to build that trust between our young people and the police. It was also great to see our young people engaging in the discussions and sharing their thoughts.

About the Wicketz Programme

Wicketz is a free community cricket programme funded by the Lord’s Taverners. Aimed at young people from underserved communities, it provides them with a safe space to play cricket and learn life skills. Through building sustainable hubs within local communities, the programme provides free weekly sessions, holiday festivals, and connects with other Wicketz projects across the country at the residentials. All equipment is provided at sessions. Beginners are encouraged!

To find out more about the programme, please email Wicketz Development Officer Wilf Brooke at or sign up by completing the registration form here.

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