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Barmy Army partners with ACE

Barmy Army joins forces with the ACE Programme as its Official Charity Partner

England Supporter’s Group the Barmy Army have announced the ACE Programme as its Official Charity Partner. 

The charity was launched by Surrey County Cricket Club in January 2020 in response to the decline of black professional players by 75%. Less than 1% of the recreational game is made up of black cricketers.

The primary aim of the partnership is to raise funds in order to send an ACE student to the R66T Academy’s High Performance Program in Adelaide, Australia. The R66T Academy is a key partner of the Barmy Army and England hero Joe Root attributes much of his career development to the intensive program down under that he experienced at the age of 19.

This initiative is consistent with one of ACE’s core values ‘to improve talent pathways for diverse cricketers’. The Barmy Army hopes to raise the £14,000 needed for the project by the Australian summer of 2023/24.

Since its inception in 1994, the world renowned supporters group has raised over half a million pounds for charities all over the world. Ebony Rainford-Brent, the first black woman to play cricket for England and now an accomplished broadcaster, is Chair of the charity. She spoke on the Barmy Army’s ‘Shackles Are Off Podcast’ about the launch of the partnership,

“The Barmy Army is one of the lights of the game since I’ve been involved in cricket. The energy that the community creates is second to none and they are true ambassadors of the game. To partner with them is amazing. We’re very excited to see where it will lead us both.”

The Barmy Army also intends on speaking to various people around diversity in cricket within the ever-expanding ACE community. Guests already announced on their podcast include World Cup hero & ACE ambassador Jofra Archer, England Women’s cricketer Sophia Dunkley and England legend Alex Tudor. 

Chris Millard, Managing Director of the Barmy Army, spoke of his delight of the partnership,

“Charitable causes have been at the heart of the Barmy Army since our inception. I am so proud to announce that we are partnering with ACE. They’re at the frontline of inclusivity in our sport and to support them is very fulfilling. We have always believed that cricket should be a game for everyone but the stats don’t lie. We need to be better at breaking down barriers for people to access the game and supporting ACE in their cause is a big step in the right direction for us. The work Ebony and Chevy have done to date with limited resources is remarkable, I hope we can play our role in amplifying the message, raising awareness and money. If cricket comes together to support the programme then maybe we can make a true lasting impact on the accessibility of our beautiful game.”

Chevy Green is the Director of the ACE Programme and also spoke on the ‘Shackles Are Off Podcast’,

“To echo Ebony, we are super excited to be working with the Barmy Army. To give the opportunity to one of our students to attend such a distinguished programme in Australia is massive for us. The ACE programme is growing at a rapid pace and partnerships with organisations like the Barmy Army are very helpful in pushing us towards our goals.”

To listen to the podcast with Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE, click here.

To read more about the partnership, click here.

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