How international pop star Jay Chou is helping East Dean cricket club
Asian tourists flocking to Beachy Head are helping to save an Eastbourne cricket club as part of a unique new campaign.
East Dean and Friston Cricket Club is welcoming tourists drawn to the Seven Sisters in the hope it will safeguard its future in the heart of the community.
Known as the East Dean Tigers, the club has been playing cricket at the village recreation ground since 1848.
But in 2018, a new housing development threatened its future. The new houses were built close by and surveys by sporting bodies recommend the pitch should be moved 30 yards south, at a cost to the club of more than £20,000.
Faced with a huge fundraising challenge for a club with limited resources, they have come up with a creative solution.
Club members discovered one of the reasons for the huge numbers of Asian visitors who stream past the cricket ground every day is because of Taiwanese singer Jay Chou’s video for his song What’s Wrong – which has more than 13 million views on Youtube.
It shows Jay Chou standing at the clifftop with Beachy Head Light Tower and Belle Tout in the background.
So East Dean Cricket Club has started the Ring the Tiger Bell challenge to attract the attention of the visitors, and ultimately of Jay Chou himself, in the hope he will become a patron of the club and support their cause.
Large signs, written in English and Mandarin, are erected before games telling the history of the club, promoting the local pub and café and highlight the link with Jay Chou.
Passing visitors are invited to make a £50 donation to the club and ring the bell attached to the signs.
On hearing the bell, the cricketers stop playing and run for a photo with the visitors, who are asked to share it on social media, and tag Jay Chou himself.