‘We now have a school of cricket lovers’

Tuesday 14th December 2021

“Our children see Adrian as one of their teachers, and our teachers see him as a valued colleague. Having him deliver cricket lessons through the Chance to Shine programme has been a godsend to us and the best possible start to a new year, after such an extended period of disruption and uncertainty.”

-Mr J Holditch, St Peter’s Primary Schools, Aylesford

When we receive comments like the above about our Community Coaches, we know that they are continuing to provide fun and engaging sessions in primary schools across the county.

Adrian Crust is one our Community Cricket Coaches delivering the Chance to Shine programme across Maidstone and Malling. We asked Mr Holditch how the children of Key Stage 2 have benefited from Adrian’s weekly sessions during term 1:

What value do the school place on high quality PE sessions, particularly following the last 18 months of disruption?

For many years schools have been under pressure to achieve ever improving results in the English and Maths SATs tests. This narrow focus has been at the expense of a wider curriculum, and in many cases, resulted in less importance being placed on subjects such as PE. It is incredibly important that children have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sports whilst at primary school. Aside from the obvious health benefits which accrue from being physically active, playing sports provides children with a chance to develop their confidence, their social skills and their all-round character.

How would you say the children have benefited from having Adrian work with them throughout term 1?

Having Adrian visit our school has meant that the children have had the best introduction possible to the sport. Because of his skills, he has been able to teach them to a very high level – and his enthusiasm has also rubbed off on them. We now have a school of cricket lovers. I know that a number began playing for clubs out of school over the past summer, following his lessons in terms 5 and 6.

Are there any particular highlights from the programme?

My teachers have been able to watch him deliver his lessons and they are now far more knowledgeable about how to teach the sport. It has been extremely good training for them to watch a specialist coach such as Adrian.  He is a very kind and patient man, and my staff have really taken to him. Even those teachers who have never watched cricket before, let alone taught it, now speak enthusiastically about it as a sport – and that is down to Adrian and the enthusiasm he shows when teaching.

Beyond the individual class sessions, what value does Chance to Shine / Adrian offer to the school?

After the strains of the pandemic, we are noticing that a great many of our children have suffered from the prolonged school closures. A large number are also displaying a general lack of confidence and the school as a whole has lost an element of the cohesion which made it such a community. I can’t stress enough the positive impact it had, for our children to return to school and immediately enjoy cricket lessons with Adrian. For many it was a sign that normality had returned. We had an external sports coach, visiting to give them whole class lessons, allowing them to participate in a sport they now love.

It was an extremely powerful message for them to receive.

We would like pass on our thanks to Mr. Holditch and St Peter’s Primary School for their comments.

If you are interested in having one of our coaches deliver in your school, please contact James Moss.

You can access each of the Chance to Shine lesson plans free of charge, which come with accompanying videos on the Chance to Shine Teachers Portal. This has been designed in conjunction with Youth Sports Trust and Create Develop. Click here to visit the portal and if you are not registered, click ‘not a member’ to create your free account.