School Road Dental Surgery are sponsoring The R66T Academy to help support the Sheffield ACE programme with their mission to engage young people of African and Caribbean Heritage and stimulate their interest in cricket. Moreover, they are also keen to aid the development of Sheffield Caribbean Sports & Wellbeing Club. 
The ACE Programme was launched by Surrey County Cricket Club in January 2020 in response to the decline of the black British professional players by 75%, and less than 1% of the recreational game. ACE aims to 'Support Diverse Talent from the Grassroots to the Elite' through Schools & Community Engagement and Increasing Visibility. 
The financial support from School Road Dental Surgery will fund two R66T Academy coaches to run a two-hour ACE Coaching Camp at Caribbean's Sheffield Cricket Club in July. Furthermore, it will allow ACE to enter a 12-person team into The R66T Academy Summer T20 Tournament, which takes place at Abbeydale Park in Sheffield in August. 
"As a Practice we are committed to supporting a number of local charities and sports clubs as we appreciate their importance within the local community," said David Jones of School Road Dental Surgery. "We have been supporting Sheffield Caribbean CC in a small way for a couple of years now as I have known Milton Samuels, Des Smith and Sam Gittens since the early 1990s and admire their commitment to keeping their wonderful club going. 
"The opportunity to support The R66T Academy in working with the ACE/Sheffield Caribbean project to try and reignite cricket participation in the Afro Caribbean community - for someone whose hero growing up was Clive Lloyd - resonated strongly with me. 
"Cricket should be accessible to all. If the participants in the ACE project at Sheffield Caribbean CC can get anywhere near the enjoyment from the game that I have experienced over many years then that will be a wonderful achievement." 
Meanwhile, Des Smith, Caribbean (Sheffield) Sports CC Chair, said: "Cricket is the traditional game of the West Indies. Sheffield Caribbean Sports and Wellbeing Club have continued this tradition and believe that the game should be easily accessible to all. The ACE programme is delivered in partnership with Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and is a step in the right direction to engage more young people of African and Caribbean Heritage and stimulate interest in cricket. 
"The involvement of Sheffield Road Dental Surgery will accelerate our ACE coaching programme to include other schools and pupils throughout the City of Sheffield. Cricket is a beautiful game. The schools and 300 children we are working with love the game, have fun playing it, and learn new cricketing and life skills. It is hoped that many will continue enjoying and playing the game long after they have graduated from our ACE programme and rise to positions representing local and England National Cricket teams, such as the likes of Devon Malcolm - a product of this club - and into other aspects of the game including as coaches, umpires, scorers, ground staff and management. 
"We welcome the SRDS offer of two R66T Academy Coaches during the summer and the contribution of their excess cricket kit to our Cri-ket Bank. We also look forward to taking part in the T20 competition at Collegiate, in August. It is hoped that next year's T20 competition will be at the Caribbean Sports and Wellbeing Club." 
The ACE team – who will be rebranded to ‘Archer’s ACE’s’ on the day – will be coached by Andre Jackson, who began his cricket journey at the age of 10 years old at Chris Gayle's home club, Lucas Cricket Club in Kingston, Jamaica. Andre is heavily involved with Caribbean's Sheffield, playing in the first team and coaching in the grassroots programmes and wider community. 
"I think it’s a great opportunity for the team to take part in this T20 tournament! They will be excited for it and ready to put on a show, and just to go out there and have fun," said Andre. "Currently, only a few of the ACE hub players are ready for hardball cricket, so it will be the first time for them. It will be an excellent chance for the players to get into hardball cricket and a massive learning experience too." 
Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club – one of our partner clubs – will also be providing Caribbean's Sheffield with some playing equipment. Meanwhile, the R66T Academy are looking to provide the club with some R66T Academy training aids to support the development of their players.  
We would like to thank both School Road Dental Surgery and Sheffield Collegiate for their support!  
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