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A new season with further growth approaches for the Surrey Junior Cricket Championship (SJCC) and with the new season the SJCC will be welcoming a new Chair who will be seeking to continue the fantastic work carried out so far.

Gavin Perera-Betts, who is involved with girls’ cricket at Banstead CC, will be looking to lead the SJCC on its next phase of growth and development after the previous chair, Sean Keaton, had to step down due to increased work commitments. In his day job Gavin works as Chief Customer Officer at Nest Corporation, which was set up by the Government to provide a workplace pension scheme for any employer in the UK to use. With a variety of experience both on and off the field Gavin fought off stiff competition from the other candidates to secure the role.

Speaking about his appointment, Gavin said, ‘I am thrilled to have been appointed as the new Chair of the SJCC. Ensuring that children from all backgrounds get the opportunity to enjoy and develop their cricket is vital, and the SJCC has a significant role to play in helping that be the case, as well as providing effective pathways for players into the senior game. I cannot wait to start building on the great work that Sean Keaton and the management team have done over the past few years in establishing and growing the SJCC as a thriving competition for young players.’

Assistant Director of Participation, Simon Hards, added, ‘We were really impressed with the calibre of candidates that came forward for this voluntary role and the panel felt that Gavin demonstrated a blend of experience, knowledge and attributes that will stand him in good stead to lead the work of the SJCC over the coming years. We are excited about looking at a longer term vision for the SJCC and developing a roadmap to start working towards that vision.’

As the SJCC enters its 4th year of competition the entries continue to grow – 2024 has seen 1682 teams entering and 7853 fixtures are currently scheduled to take place. This is an increase of 149 teams and some 449 fixtures. However, looking more closely at the figures, entry numbers for girls teams is up 16% with a further 48 teams participating and importantly there has been an 8% increase in the number of teams entered into the competitions at U15 and older, showing that the SJCC is beginning to retain more cricketers within the game.

Competitions Officer, Mark Babb, commented, ‘We are really pleased to see the ongoing growth in entries for the SJCC and I want to thank all the fantastic volunteers at the 139 clubs that work so hard to get the game on for their young, aspiring cricketers. We are looking forward to supporting over 7500 games of cricket this year as we continue to support the network in growing the game across Surrey.’

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