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University hits a six with cricketing partnership

THE University of Northampton’s global reach and relationships will be highlighted closer to home after links with a leading sporting club were renewed.

The University re-joined forces with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club (NCCC), a partnership that fully kicked off with the start of the Vitality Blast.

The Blast is a competitive Twenty20 tournament in which rapid, high-octane cricket games are played over shorter, three-hour periods rather than the longer durations of other tournaments.

During the T20, every time a player from Northamptonshire ‘hits a six’ – in which the ball is hit hard enough to go out of the boundary of the field, scoring the maximum of six runs – the large screen at The County Ground will beam a message to the crowds about the University’s work on the global stage.

The University is committed to supporting its students and staff to take their knowledge and skills outside the UK and to develop projects and enterprises that will benefit people and the environment.

Examples of these include International Development student Emma Leering’s charity United Amayi, which has opened schools for vulnerable women in Malawi who do not have access to education; and social work lecturer Dr Sukhwinder Singh’s work with international agencies to develop support for refugees and host communities in the West Nile region of Uganda.

The T20 matches will help highlight the many ways students and staff are making a positive social impact around the world. The on-going partnership with NCCC will provide students with internship opportunities, boosting their employability prospects and, by using their skills and knowledge, further enhance the performance of cricket players.

The University and NCCC have already agreed to create a scholarship of £1,000 to support a postgraduate student enrolled on the new Strength and Conditioning degree, due to open in September this year.

Speaking at the launch event, Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, said: “Today was an auspicious day for all, including myself as – contrary to expectations – it seems I can still approach the crease with confidence, ‘carry the bat’ without falling over and, whilst not quite hitting the coveted ‘six’ as much as I would have liked, can still give a fair attacking shot.

“Northamptonshire County Cricket Club and University of Northampton gave a light-hearted demonstration of our new, professional working partnership, one which will reap enormous benefits to the club and our students, with many professional and development opportunities for all.

“By taking the positive power of sport and all the good it can do, today’s action highlighted what is most important about this partnership, something at the heart of everything the University of Northampton is about. That is, developing and supporting students and staff to go beyond Waterside to create a positive impact on people’s lives, their communities and the environment, particularly on the world stage – something we call our Global Impact.

“Our commitment to this and our partnership with NCCC will continue long after the T20 tournament this year. We are proud to work with them to spread the word about how we create change across the world.”

Gavin Warren, Chairman of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, added: “I am absolutely delighted that our club is once again working with the University of Northampton. It’s a partnership that is long overdue a reacquaintance.

“We know as much as they do about the benefits such arrangements can bring, to the students who want to add to their skills and clubs who want their players to benefit from their knowledge and support.

“We look forward to working together to further Northamptonshire cricket’s impact on the sporting atlas.”

Contact Northamptonshire County Cricket Club on 01604 514481 or visit www.ccc.co.uk

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