New primary school scheme looks to inspire children to play and learn through cricket

Millions of primary school children in England and Wales will have the opportunity to play and learn through cricket. This is thanks to a major increase in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) funding to Chance to Shine.

The ECB is set to double its annual donation to the children’s cricket charity from £1.25 million to £2.5 million from October 2017.

Chance to Shine is a national charity which aims to use cricket to develop personal skills values to children involved. These include leadership, teamwork, respect and responsibility.

The new investment is combined with continued support from ongoing sponsors, private individuals, charitable trusts and foundations. It means that Chance to Shine can expand their annual reach from approximately 300,000 primary school children to more than 500,000.

In addition, professional coaches funded by the charity are to introduce the game to two million children directly over the next four years. Chance to Shine also plans to reach many more indirectly through a new package of support for school teachers.

Chance to Shine’s Chief Executive Luke Swanson added, “Our vision is that all young people have the opportunity to play and learn through cricket. That’s easy to say but very hard to achieve. This new long-term commitment from ECB provides the most tremendous boost to getting us there.”

He added, “It will dramatically expand cricket’s presence in primary schools at a time of great excitement and potential for the game. It will enhance the support that we give teachers to enrich playing and learning. Above all, it will give millions of young people their first experience of a fun, inclusive, active team sport that we hope will become a lifelong habit and passion.”

The ECB and Chance to Shine have agreed three core objectives for the new primary school programme:

  • To give young children, aged 5-11, a great first experience of cricket
  • To support teachers to build a sustainable culture of cricket in state schools
  • To help young children play regularly and learn key life skills

This new programme will be co-developed by the two organisations over the next twelve months. This will be delivered in partnership with the 39 County Cricket Boards in England and Wales. Part of the scheme will include an introductory skills course of primary school children, delivered by professional cricket coaches.

There will also be training and support materials supplied for teachers, as well as resources for cricket-themed classroom learning. Young people will also gain practical support to continue playing the game in school, club, community and casual settings.

As well as the increased funding, the ECB are also helping to provide the charity with opportunities to capitalise on international events, game day experiences, digital resources and player appearances. These will be in conjunction with the ongoing partnership with the England Women’s cricket team.

Since 2005, Chance to Shine has brought cricket and its educational benefits to nearly 12,000 schools and to more than 3 million young people, with around 50% of those, girls.

ECB Director of Participation and Growth said, “Today’s announcement means that we will develop an even stronger partnership with Chance to Shine – working together to introduce more children to cricket and encouraging closer links with local clubs.”

“We believe cricket is uniquely placed to enrich the lives of young people, whether that be through the development of nine of the ten fundamental movements skills, the fact that we are the only sport that incorporates our values into the official rules of the game or the fact that cricket can deliver so many in-class curriculum outcomes.”

He concluded, “Cricket has the ability to inspire kids in our communities in a way like no other and we will do that together with Chance to Shine.”

Source: School Sport Magazine

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