Welcome to the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival website.
The Sussex Junior
Cricket Festival was founded in 1967 by Tony Austin and a few like-minded
stalwart supporters of youth cricket who recognised that, with the then decline
in the amount of cricket being played in schools, the very future of club
cricket in Sussex could be threatened through the lack of sufficient new
recruits into the game.
The aim of the SJCF is to encourage clubs to provide cricket
for local youngsters by running colts sections and to organise matches.Each cricket season would end with every
club taking part in a competitive Junior Festival Week of Cricket across the
whole county, with the finals being played on high quality and prestigious
grounds, with trophies for both winners and losers, so that every youngster
participating could feel that he had taken part, and contributed even in some
small way, in something that was both enjoyable and bigger than just himself
and his club.
The ‘Festival Week’, from its start with just 6 clubs at
under 16 years of age only, now extends to 4 consecutive weeks of proper
cricket for 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16 year old players.The enthusiasm of member clubs, coaches and
parents, demand by the players and the efforts of a small volunteer committee
ensure that year on year over 1,700 youngsters enjoy good competitive cricket
during the summer holiday.
These Festivals are now firmly rooted as the highlight and
focus of the club junior season in Sussex, with many cricketing families
arranging their holidays so that players are available.This is cricket for a purpose with time for
players to pace an innings, shine with the ball and spend time in the
field.There is reward and respect in
the craft of a well fought draw, playing for points with only the finals being
decided on limited overs.It is the
game that juniors will come to experience and enjoy in their adult club years.By tradition, the U-16 final is played at the
prestigious Arundel Castle for the Royal Sussex Regiment Cup, the pinnacle for
a SJCF player.