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Will’s cricket charity Bat For A Chance launches Sri Lankan partnership

Will Gaffney (Meister Omers, Fifth) was praised for his determination by Test legend Kumar Sangakkara as his cricket charity Bat For A Chance—which Will has built from the ground up over the last two years—launched a partnership with the Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka.

Around his school commitments, Will has poured his time into developing contacts and sourcing equipment to send to underprivileged communities across the developing world. It began on a tour to Sri Lanka where he recalls watching children playing on a coconut mat in a remote village, passing shared helmets and bats between them. “I was able to see first hand the joy that cricket can bring to children’s lives,” he said. “That was a big reality check and made me realise what a fortunate position I am in.” 

That experience left him with a desire to do something to help grow the game. Bat For A Chance was born and now, two years on, it has links with over 20 cricket-playing nations and has collaborated with major UK organisations such as the MCC Foundation and Sussex Cricket Club.

The newest partnership with Foundation of Goodness, a charity established following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that has over 31,500 beneficiaries in more than 400 villages, will allow Bat For A Chance to spread the joy of cricket to more people than ever.

At a launch event which took place in between the two Test matches taking place in Galle Sangakkara, a trustee to the Foundation of Goodness and the only non-British person to be President of the MCC, said: “Will Gaffney, 16 years old, what an amazing, generous heart that you have. The determination to raise funds, to donate this gear, to actually make a decision and see it through. And to be magnanimous in terms of thinking of the benefit and support and compassion for others. It’s truly inspiring.

“It is these attitudes for sure that will change the world and the lives of others, who are less privileged than we are, for the better.”

For Will, establishing the charity has not only enabled him to touch the lives of others but also gain a huge amount personally as he has connected with so many people involved in the sport. “Hearing what they have achieved and what cricket has done for them really grounded me,” he said.

“I am also fortunate to have been taken under the wing of many fantastic cricket businessmen when reaching out and making contact with them. The most prominent of whom would be Omar Khan who wrote my PR for me. He has become a mentor like no other.”

Although the business end of his GCSE year may force Will to take a step back from the charity and allow his trustees to take charge, he is now looking forward to developing Bat For A Chance’s relationship with the Foundation of Goodness while continuing to expand the charity’s reach.

Learn more about Bat For A Chance via their website.