Embedding cricket into local schools

Tuesday 29th November 2022

The start of the new academic year is not always the obvious time to start talking about Cricket. Term 1 (out of 6) is often busy, as schools welcome new children and reacquaint themselves with the rhythm of academic life.

The increasingly consistent September weather enables our Community Coaches to extend the cricket summer, reaching a  greater number of children through the Chance to Shine programme.

Chance to Shine goes further than the delivery of engaging cricket. There are expectations of our coaches, to deliver more than ‘just cricket’, and to support the development of life skills and leadership. And there are expectations of the school, to commit to all aspects of the programme. This includes a commitment to provide children the opportunity to access cricket outside of the sessions provided by Kent Cricket. For a myriad of reasons, this cannot always be at a local club; though club opportunities are championed at appropriate times, typically during the Feb-May window, when National Programme registration opens.

To find out what this looks like in practice, we spoke to teachers from two schools who received coaching from Molly Davis (right) throughout term 1.

How have you seen the pupils develop?

❝ During Term 1 pupils began the term with little to no knowledge of cricket. Not long after Molly started I was regularly asked for bats and stumps to be available for playtimes, and children were overheard discussing cricketers  that Molly had introduced them to. ❞

What are the benefits of having a specialist cricket coach?

❝Molly had a variety of engaging skill building activities, these helped children develop their knowledge of cricket. She was also able to spot the children who needed either differentiation but also extension, enabling them to achieve their personal best.❞

It is especially pleasing when a school demonstrates a willingness to go above and beyond to facilitate cricket after we have left. So you can imagine our delight when a school asked for our guidance in running an inter-house tournament, at the end of October!

How did the competition go?

❝The end of term tournament was the perfect way to round off the programme. The ability throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 had clearly improved and this was an excellent opportunity for children to showcase what they had learnt. We are going to revisit cricket in 2023, as preparation to then enter the local Countdown Cricket competition.❞

As we move into the more wintery terms, our staff have prioritised schools who have facilities suitable to cope with the risk of poor weather. They will also spend the remainder of the term identifying their schools for the remainder of the academic year. If you work in a state-funded primary school in Kent (including Bromley, Bexley, Lewisham & Greenwich) and would like to know more about Chance to Shine then please get in touch.

Scroll down to see our feature on South East Today in 2021, to see what Chance to Shine looks like in action.

We would like to thank the staff at Eythorne & Elvington Community Primary School, and Adisham Primary School for providing us with their feedback.