Norfolk schools benefit from Chance to Shine programme

More than 80 schools in Norfolk are now benefiting from the Chance To Shine programme, which aims to reintroduce cricket into state schools.

For the first time this year, the Norfolk Cricket Board have been handed full control of the budget for Chance to Shine in the county. As well as continuing to support existing projects run by four Norfolk clubs – Swaffham, Vauxhall Mallards, Old Buckenham and Brooke – the board have introduced four new projects – disability cricket in special schools; high schools; girls cricket; a Breckland-based project in conjunction with Breckland Council.

The projects are delivered by qualified coaches, but the aim is to work with schools and educate teachers so that they can continue to deliver cricket coaching in the future. There is also an emphasis on providing competitive cricket opportunities for children and encouraging youngsters to join their local clubs

Last year, more than 3,800 schools nationally participated in the programme.

The NCB's cricket development officer, Kevin Denmark, said: 'It is a huge project and very significant for us. We are already beginning to see the benefits with more teachers signing up for our Cricket For Teachers workshops and more boys and girls wanting to get involved at their local clubs.'

NCB cricket development manager Kieron Tuck added: 'We are very fortunate to have this funding for the Chance to Shine programme in Norfolk and as a result more cricket coaching and activity will be offered in schools than ever before.

'We are talking thousands of hours of activity not just hundreds. More importantly the programme is being linked to various key outcomes such as a legacy and culture of cricket in each of the schools, competitive opportunities and education through cricket, and migration of participants to clubs to help maintain and develop a healthy club network in Norfolk.

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'It's not just about coaches delivering a cricket coaching session then leaving the school. Huge credit must go to Kevin Denmark and Emma Hardy who have been largely responsible for pulling this together, along of course with all the coaches and clubs involved in the various projects.'