Chance to Shine celebrates bringing cricket to one million school girls

Monday 10th February 2014

Chance to Shine celebrates bringing cricket to one million school girls

Kent school girls and Minister of Sport help England cricketers celebrate Ashes win

and cricket charity’s one millionth milestone

Kent and England Women's cricketers, Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway celebrated their recent Ashes success in Australia today by visiting pupils at Brunswick House Primary school in Maidstone.

As well as bringing the Ashes winning trophy, the England Women cricketers also brought news that the cricket playing girls at Brunswick House are one in a million.

Cricket charity Chance to Shine announced today that it has helped bring the game to one million girls across the country.

Joining the cricketers and pupils to mark the milestone was local MP for Maidstone and the Weald, Helen Grant, Minister for Sport and Equalities. During the visit, the Minister visited a cricket themed lesson, during which Year Four pupils learnt about teamwork with the England Women’s captain. The Minister also took part in a Year Six girls’ coaching session led by Kent Cricket Board, Women and Girls Development Officer, Natasha Newman and England’s Lydia Greenway.

Minister for Sport and Equalities, Helen Grant MP helped to celebrate the charity's milestone by visiting a girls' cricket session in her Maidstone constituency.

Speaking at the event she said; “It’s programmes like Chance to Shine that are making the difference, getting more young people active and creating a sporting habit of a lifetime. Since it started in 2005, over two million children have benefited in 9,000 schools and it’s great to see it in action today at Brunswick House Primary School.”

Charlotte Edwards MBE commented; "It’s fantastic to see the girls, teachers and head at Brunswick House Primary really embrace cricket. We're so proud to be a part of Chance to Shine, and its achievement of bringing cricket to one million girls. We hope to inspire many more children to take up the game in the future."

Brunswick House's Headteacher, who has witnessed the positive impact of sports like cricket on pupils, commented; “Like the Chance to Shine charity, Brunswick House is a dedicated supporter of cricket as a school sport. We are committed to providing all children with the opportunities that lead to them playing sport at a senior level.

“Our Chance to Shine cricket coaching sessions, along with the school’s Cricket Club, have created a real sense of camaraderie amongst our pupils – their competitive drive and team spirit really come alive during the game.”

A decade ago, cricket was on the decline in state schools, with less than 10 per cent of them playing competitive cricket. For many girls, cricket wasn't even an option at school.

Today, over two million children in just over 9,000 state schools have played competitive cricket through the programme. In 2013, 46 per cent of pupils involved in the Chance to Shine programme – 191,700 – were girls and 10,000 of these enjoyed cricket in 242 Kent schools. Chance to Shine links cricket clubs and their coaches to local primary and secondary schools, via the ECB's network of county cricket boards, like Kent Cricket Board.

In 2008, ECB's Head of Women's Cricket Clare Connor OBE and Chance to ShineChief Executive Wasim Khan MBE were instrumental in establishing a partnership between the ECB and Chance to Shine. This enabled England Women's cricketers to work as coaching ambassadors.

Khan said; "It's sad to think that for the majority of girls, cricket just wasn't an option for them at school or their local club less than 10 years ago. We're starting to change that and have seen how girls really enjoy the sport. More needs to be done to get girls on an equal footing to boys and we'll continue our efforts with ECB until every state school provides their girls with the opportunity to play, enjoy and learn through cricket."

The charity now employs six England Women's cricketers, who support Chance to Shine by coaching children, training teachers and delivering school assemblies across the country.

While they are not central contracts, they are designed to give the players the flexibility to train and play international cricket while earning a living. The ambassadors – Charlotte Edwards, Lydia Greenway, Danielle Hazell, Jenny Gunn, Heather Knight and Susie Rowe, coached over 6,000 girls during 2013, and have inspired thousands more to take up the game over the last five years.

It costs just £15 to provide a year’s cricket coaching to one child and the charity needs to raise £1million each year to keep the Chance to Shine programme running.

To find out more about Chance to Shine and for ways to get involved visit;