The great and the good of the cricketing world came together earlier this month to celebrate the work being done by Chance to Shine supported by Brit Insurance. The Brit Insurance Annual Achievement Awards, held at Lord’s, recognised the efforts of the coaches, teachers and club managers involved on the ground in the country's biggest school sports development initiative.
The star-studded event was attended by the Governor of the Bank of England and Chance to Shine President, Sir Mervyn King, England captains Andrew Strauss and Charlotte Edwards along with fellow England players Chris Tremlett and Jade Dernbach.
St Margaret’s CofE School scooped the coveted School of the Year Award. The judges praised how the school has embraced the essence of Chance to Shine and in particular the creation of an all girls after school cricket club for years three, four, five and six. As a result, The school has had an impressive average of fifty girls attending the club each week.
Commenting on the award, Andrew Black, Headteacher of St Margaret’s School, said: “The Chance to Shine scheme has given all our pupils aspirational and inspirational coaching and great ‘after school’ club experiences since the programme was started. Hundreds of pupils have benefitted from it and have enjoyed not only the playing game, but the appreciation of others and the whole ethos of the game and what it gives to young people.”
The Project of the Year Award was won by Sale Cricket Club. The judges praised the club for securing additional funding that allowed the club to employ a dedicated Sports Development Officer to deliver their programme, which resulted in a massive over delivery against the KPI’s and has ensured the sustainability of the programme as the overall income generated by the post will see it continue after the Chance to Shine funding has ended. Rob Moore and Rick Halkon collected the award for the club.
Rick said of their award: “We care a great deal about the work we do, it is our passion. Cricket is the best sport around and Chance to Shine gives the kids an opportunity to get involved with cricket, to build friendships and to develop a passion. It has helped turn us into the club we are today.”
England star Chris Tremlett also attended the awards and received the Cricketing Ambassador of the Year award. Tremlett’s multiple appearances were worth £1 million in PR value for Chance to Shine.
Trevor Griffin from the Exeter Chance to Shine project received the Coach of the Year Award. The award judges were impressed with Trevor’s energy, his friendly approach to cricket and education, his willingness to try new out ideas and challenge his own ability as well as the children, teachers and coaches he engages with on a day to day basis.
Trevor said of his award: “Chance to Shine is a fantastic opportunity to engage children in the great game of cricket. It enables me to work in the schools and share the passion I have for the game with the children. It also lets the children learn a lot of important life experiences. I’d like to thank everybody involved with Devon cricket as well as all the teachers I work with for being so welcoming and really getting involved in the sessions.”
The final award of the night was the Brit Insurance Special Recognition Award which was won by Bower Grove School in Maidstone. The award judges were impressed by how this special needs school has not only embraced the Chance to Shine programme allowing their pupils to benefit from it, but through the staff’s ability to recognise the value and wider community benefits of the project, other schools have also benefitted.
Mr Trevor Phipps, Head teacher at Bower Grove School, Maidstone said: “We are totally overwhelmed and amazed at this wonderful achievement. The pupils are the real winners and we are delighted that they have gained so much from this superb initiative.”
Wasim Khan, Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation said: “The Brit Insurance Annual Achievement Awards are our opportunity to recognise and say thank you to all the people who work extremely hard on the Chance to Shine campaign in schools and clubs throughout the country.”
Other winners were:
Volunteer of the Year: Jon Desborough, Sky News sports presenter
Chance to Shine Young Leader of the Year: Kate Thompson, Stradbroke CC, Suffolk
MCC Spirit of Cricket Award: South Ribble & West Lancashire Coaches