Wednesday 15 October 2008 

Cricket Helps State School Children Shine, Says New Report

Cricket can have a significant impact on children’s attitudes and behaviour in state schools, according to new research. 

A Loughborough University report, commissioned by the Cricket Foundation, also highlights how the English game can help improve pupils’ confidence and social skills, overcome cultural barriers and generate enthusiasm within the classroom.

The University’s Institute of Youth Sport evaluated the impact of Chance to shine – the Cricket Foundation’s campaign to regenerate competitive cricket in state schools – and found that a number of schools have used the programme effectively to encourage and reinforce good behaviour.

Both pupils and teachers acknowledge, in the report, the value of cricket for providing young people with positive experiences and helping them to develop ‘gentlemanly conduct’.  “With cricket there is very much a code of conduct and code of behaviour such as clapping if somebody gets a six even with the other side,” said a teacher involved in the scheme.

At one school the teacher had organised after-school sessions for a group of disaffected boys as a reward for good behaviour and attendance. The Chance to shine cricket coaching sessions proved an ideal way to re-engage the pupils back into school.

Co-author of the Loughborough University report, Ruth Jeanes, says: “The research demonstrates the potential of Chance to shine to contribute to pupils’ wider educational experience. Children’s physical and social skills were felt to have improved.”

In the report’s survey, only 39 per cent of pupils agree that they and their peers are well behaved in school generally; while 60 per cent agree that pupils are well behaved in Chance to shine sessions.

As one child explains: “It has given us something that we can be good at and we’ve really enjoyed it…because we have been able to show our teachers and each other that we can be good at something, because usually everyone just thinks we are bad and causing trouble.”

A number of teachers support the idea that schools can use competitive sports like cricket to improve children’s self esteem and confidence, both in PE sessions and more broadly within the classroom. The evaluation also shows how cricket can help children from different ethnic backgrounds, whose first language is not English, to integrate in schools. 

“A lot of our children have academic difficulties and we do find that in sporting activities they may have a hidden talent” says one state school teacher, “A lot of our Bengali children may have English as an additional language but if you get them on a cricket pitch they are up there with their peers or even ahead …It gives them a sense of self worth that they are good at something which raises their self-esteem.”

The research highlights how the cricket coaching sessions affect children’s attitude to school with 83 per cent of pupils saying they like coming into school when Chance to shine takes place; compared to 64 per cent who usually like school.

Wasim Khan, Operations Director for the Cricket Foundation says: “The Loughborough research reveals the extensive impact the initiative is having on pupils across a number of areas.  Through expert coaching and competition, Chance to shine is delivering sustainable cricket programmes as well as contributing significantly to the provision of high quality PE.”

Simon Dyson, Executive Chairman, Chance to shine adds: “We’ve always recognised the power of competitive cricket to help young people acquire skills, values and attitudes. The evaluation appears to validate this conviction and is tremendously encouraging, not only for us, but for the thousands of state school children involved in the programme.”

To view the Institute of Youth Sport’s full report, ‘The impact of Chance to shine’, visit www.chancetoshine.org

 

For more information please contact:

Fabian Devlin, Communications Manager, the Cricket Foundation

Tel. 07920 502 152

Email. fabian.devlin.cricketfoundation@ecb.co.uk