Emirates Old Trafford threw open its doors to 3,000 schoolchildren from across the North-West of England today as Lancashire County Cricket Club held a Schools Open Day on Day Two of their LV= County Championship match against Essex.
The day's events, which included an Activity Zone and an ASDA Kwik Cricket competition, were part of "The Lancashire Way", a joint project which is being run by Lancashire CCC, the Lancashire Foundation and the Lancashire Cricket Board. Its aim is to promote inclusivity and raise participation levels in cricket through six initiatives.
The children watched Lancashire's batsmen facing the Essex attack but were also able to take part in a wide range of physical, fun and educational activities.
"This open day shows that Lancashire CCC is officially open to the community and that cricket is a game suitable for everyone," said Old Trafford's Director of Cricket Mike Watkinson, who presented the prizes after the Kwik Cricket tournament.
Michelle Carney, Foundation Director, added: “‘We were delighted to welcome thousands of school children from across the North West to Emirates Old Trafford today. The LCCC Foundation uses the power of cricket to motivate, educate and inspire our community and we hope that by experiencing cricket first hand we will encourage young people to try a sport that they may not have thought about before and want to visit again with their families.”
Andrew Hayhurst, Managing Director of the Lancashire Cricket Board added: "Many children attending today may well have seen cricket at this level for the first time and they did so in such magnificent surroundings.
"We hope that many will return as our future customers. It is important that we attract a new audience to the game when we are competing with so many other attractions and a brand new stadium can only help that."
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh