BELHUS Cricket Club have announced that they have been successful in their application to widen their delivery of the highly successful Chance to Shine cricket programme to Thurrock schools in 2012. Supported by Brit Insurance, the scheme is a nationwide campaign run by the Cricket Foundation. Hundreds of Thurrock schoolchildren will benefit from in-school cricket coaching and competitive cricket delivered by the Belhus club’s team of coaches in association with the Thurrock School Sports Partnership. For the New Year, twenty Thurrock schools have stated they are intending to join the scheme, compared to 2011 when seven Thurrock schools were involved.
The Chance to Shine organiser at Belhus Cricket Club is Cliff Cansdale who said: “In the current financial climate it’s amazing that we have been able to secure more funding than last year and we must thank the Cricket Foundation for their backing. Already we have seen an increase in the number of young players attending our club as a direct result of our coaching in schools. We are also exploring the possibility of extending our delivery still further for 2012, but this will depend on the success of a future funding bid from an additional local source”.
Steve Peyman, Operations Director at the Cricket Foundation, said: “Our clubs are the backbone of Chance to Shine and are critical to the success of the programme. The club organisers help to coordinate the delivery of high quality coaching and, as a result, 26,977 children have joined local clubs over the first seven years of the plan”. The Cricket Foundation, an independent registered charity believes that team sports – and cricket in particular – can help youngsters develop as people. Peyman continued: “Cricket promotes leadership and teamwork and teaches youngsters how to win and lose respectfully, giving opportunities for both girls and boys”.
England’s Graeme Swann said: “I went to a school which did not play cricket but I was lucky enough to have been given the chance to play by my dad. But there were millions of youngsters out there who were never given the opportunity to play and that is sad. What Chance to Shine has done is fantastic and if, through them, we unearth another Ian Botham, Kevin Pietersen or Freddie Flintoff then great; but the main aim is just to get more people playing from an early age and encourage them to take part at whatever level they are comfortable with”.
Chance to Shine is a £50million charitable campaign supported financially by the England and Wales Cricket Board, Brit Insurance, Slazenger, The Lord’s Taverners and the Marylebone Cricket Club and many other companies and private individuals, as well as the Government through Sport England.