Cricket at The Spring Trust Springs Forward!

Friday 21st July 2023

Cricket at The Spring Trust Springs Forward!

“I feel like cricket is finally on the map in all of the schools within the Trust, and teachers feel so confident with it, which is the difference.”

– Miss Watson, PE Lead for Leesons Primary School & The Spring Partnership Trust

As far as feedback goes, it doesn’t get much more positive than that, whilst also sitting neatly with one of the founding motivations of Chance to Shine all the way back in 2005, which was “that something needed to be done to reinvigorate state school cricket”.

To have the best chance at leaving a lasting impact, the programmes we deliver not only need to be impactful and positive for the children, but also for the staff. It is therefore essential that we enable teachers to build an affinity with cricket and the confidence to deliver cricket-based lesson plans on their own.

Iain Ager – Community Coach

Iain Ager, Community Cricket Coach at Kent Cricket, has just two days per week to work with primary schools in Bromley and with 72 schools in the borough, that leaves scope to work directly with approximately 12% of them in an academic year. This creates an absolute necessity for two things…

  1. Identify schools which will fully commit to the programme
  2. Create and develop a local network of Cricket Champions in primary schools

Whilst the six weeks of curriculum PE lessons are always a draw for schools, the Chance to Shine programme encompasses much more than this. In order to secure a delivery slot, we ask schools to be ambitious and creative in how they can utilise the wider aspects of the programme, such as:

  • Training Playground Leaders
  • Active, informal Staff CPD
  • A Spirit of Cricket Assembly
  • Intra and/or inter school competition
  • Links to out-of-school cricket programmes

So it is always helpful when a school has a clear vision for how they want to maximise the opportunity, and this is what Miss Watson did:

“Having Iain working with us at Leesons and throughout the Trust enabled us to build something for our children based on their needs. Collectively, the PE Leads from each school agreed that we wanted to give them the opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have [to learn how to play cricket] and enable them to build their confidence in competing against other schools.”

It was this goal that set the pace for the programmes in each school, with teachers team-teaching lessons to get to grips with the fundamental skills of cricket and attending Staff-CPD to learn how to run and manage games.

On Friday the 23rd of June, we’re delighted to share that the inaugural “Spring Partnership Trust Cup” took place, hosted by Leesons Primary School, with teams from Midfield, St Mary Cray and Hayes travelling to take part. Sadly, Mrs Watson was unable to be present due to illness, so didn’t witness it taking place. However, the fact that it went ahead without the mastermind present is further testament to those involved.

We did however catch up with her on Zoom to reflect on the presence Cricket now has within the school…

Attending the competition as a special guest was Kent Cricket’s London-born fast bowler, Jas Singh, who watched over the pitches as matches took place before providing a mini-masterclass between matches as seen in the photo gallery below.

We asked Hannah from Year 6, who captained the Leesons Team, what she thought of the Chance to Shine programme, and this is what she had to say…

“When I first started playing cricket it was with Coach Iain in our PE lessons. Ever since, I have had a passion for cricket and I practiced in and out of school. Miss. Valder started a cricket club and named me Cricket Captain. After practicing for a few weeks, we hosted our first match, as it was our very first, we did not win but we didn’t give up. Instead we learnt from our mistakes and hoped to do better in our next one. The following month we had a tournament between three school in our trust: Midfield, St Mary Cray and Hayes. We had lots of fun and tried our very best but we lost to Midfield and won our first match against St Mary Cray. We saw a successful and famous bowler named Jas Singh and he is part of the Kent Cricket team. Overall, we have enjoyed playing cricket and look forward to playing cricket in our secondary school.”

– Hannah, Year 6, Leesons Primary School

This fantastic success story is thanks to Hannah, Miss Watson, Iain and all of the students and teachers who made it happen. It is proof-in-action of the passion, willingness and creativity in grassroots cricket which, when harnessed, creates fun, positive and life-changing opportunities for everyone involved in it.

If you are a teacher or pe lead in Kent would like to find out more about how the Chance to Shine program could help you and your school, get in touch.