Cricket in Spain is very much an expat sport with many players from the teams here, including our own Levante CC, coming from the UK and many of the most popular cricketing nations. The development of the sport in Valencia and Spain as a whole is something Cricket España continue to strive towards in a very difficult climate and with amazing dedication, something Levante CC and Valencia Sports Tours admire. The Valencia Smash! T20 Tournament was launched in 2017 as an annual event that would look to attract teams from across Europe and beyond to Valencia for a 3 day tournament, alongside hosts and local side Levante CC. The idea was to not only offer excellent cricket for the hosts, but the chance to shine a bright light on cricket in the city and Spain as a whole, bringing the focus to a sport that needs local support and inclusion to see cricket become an option for young people and adults to be involved in over the years to come.
So why is the Valencia Smash! and Valencia Sports Tours supporting a UK charity, Chance to Shine?
For the 2018 tournament we donated part of the individual player costs for the tournament to Chance to Shine. This is something we will repeat again in 2019. Chance to Shine is a charity that “aims to give all children the opportunity to play and learn through cricket”. Their work within schools and communities not only allows children to learn and enjoy the sport of cricket, but assists in personal, physical and social development. It is also a fantastic way to keep cricket alive and reach more and more young people in the UK, which is why Chance to Shine work with 39 county cricket boards across England and Wales.
Without going into lots of detail about Chance to Shine and what they do (we recommend you visit their website by clicking on the Chance to Shine banner below to find out more as it is fantastic), their programmes alongside their values are areas we can learn a lot from here in Valencia and Spain. Learning from such a pioneering and forward thinking charity can only assist the development of our own structure and how we can bring cricket to people young and old everywhere. Without a charity leading the way in this area, although outside of the country we play cricket, the cricketing community would suffer greatly. Which is why we feel our support from Valencia is valuable in the long term to cricket worldwide. In addition, with Valencia Sports Tours a UK company too, we are fully aware and grateful to charities such as this, who do so much for young people, especially within inner cities who just don’t have many of the opportunities they fully deserve.
For the 2019 Valencia Smash! we have two teams confirmed alongside hosts Levante CC and just one more team is required to complete the line up meaning we are two thirds towards meeting our target donation to Chance to Shine for this year. If you think you and your club would like to take part in this great tournament in a wonderful city, please get in touch now!