Chance to Shine - Cricket in Schools

Chance to Shine is a cricket-based charity getting young people, from areas that aren’t necessarily associated with cricket, into the game by taking current professionals and putting them in schools and getting kids to have a bit of a play and sort of encourage the street cricket that goes on in certain bits of the country that really doesn’t in others.

I spent a lot of time in Leeds and Bradford, street cricket is a thing that is very active there. There’s a higher population of cricket fans from families where cricket is their main sport, families of Indian, Pakistani or Sri Lankan descent where ‘cricket is 𝘪𝘵’. They have the same passion for cricket as many Brits do for football.

In certain areas in Newcastle, football’s obviously the main sport. Even the success of the Newcastle Falcons rugby team over the years hasn’t quite had the same impact as the football, so cricket is a bit further down the list.

I’ve always been cricket fan, I played as a child and certainly followed England and Durham where I could, so this was a great opportunity to see cricket being played in a school in Byker, with a mix of kids, some of whom absolutely loved it and some didn’t know what was going on.

To be able to see their faces when Ollie Robinson of Durham came along was fantastic (I should say, not THE Robinson England cricketer as he was out playing in the test match of the time!). He really engaged with the kids and showed them what progress you could make from the street cricket through to playing for your county and then progressing on to England further down the line.

As a shoot it was obviously a challenge, as shoots in schools often are, regarding permissions and the hustle and bustle of kids. How does the saying go, “Don’t work with kids and animals!” But it’s always giggle for me – I enjoy shooting in schools and seeing the kids’ faces and having so much fun.

Chance to Shine are a great organisation and cover all of the UK so if you’re somewhere else in the UK and cricket’s your thing or you want to help promote cricket in communities, get in touch!

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