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.