Feb 122013


The number of primary schools taking part in the Gloucestershire Cricket Board’s Chance to Shine initiative is set to more than double.

Increased funding from the Cricket Foundation means that a total of 28 projects are to be launched in primary schools across the county after the half-term break, compared to 13 last year.

In the Bristol area, centenary-celebrating Patchway, Old Down, Hambrook, Twyford House, Carsons Mangotsfield, Chipping Sodbury and Rockhampton are participating for the first time, along with the Bristol Phoenix girls and women’s club, while YMCA are taking part for a third year and Frenchay for a fourth.

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Chance to Shine projects provide a structured coaching and competition programme for primary and secondary schools with pupils very often receiving a first hands-on experience of the sport.

These schools are then linked with local clubs in the hope of encouraging youngsters to continue playing and have the chance to take a path which, in theory, could lead all the way to the Test arena.

Steve Silk, the Gloucestershire Cricket Board’s Cricket Development Manager, said: “This is a big step for us. The principle behind Chance to Shine is to show how attractive a sport cricket is, and encourage players to migrate from these schools to their local club.

“It’s something that very definitely works. Last year, participating clubs reported a total of 322 new members because of Chance to Shine, which I think is staggering.

“It’s a massive challenge to deliver these 28 projects, but it is something we ware very excited about.”

The GCB are currently drawing up details of further Chance to Shine projects which will soon be announced in a large number of secondary schools.

Silk added: “Clubs do a vast amount of work behind the scenes to provide cricket for youngsters, in terms of volunteers providing coaching and running teams.

“And that hard work has to continue. The potential is there for people to drop away from cricket because of their experiences last year when all it seemed to do was rain.

“So we can’t rest on our laurels, we must all be proactive and that means Chance to Shine is very important.”

Frenchay have a spare pitch available for hire, preferably on a season-long agreement. For details, call Sally Donaldson on 0117 9600213.

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