Ex-England wicketkeeper and De Montfort University honorary graduate Paul Nixon is coaching a group of students to deliver cricket sessions for young people across Leicester.
Paul is giving his time to support the university’s Square Mile programme which aims to improve life for the community in Newfoundpool, Fosse, Tudor Road and Woodgate in the city.
The Square Mile sports project will train undergraduates to deliver cricket coaching in schools in the area.
The initiative aims to get youngsters interested in sport and, by interacting and being mentored by Paul and the students, to raise their ambitions towards higher education.
The project will culminate in an end of school year cricket match involving Paul and a team of Square Mile school children against a university XI.
Paul said: "When I heard about what Square Mile was doing for residents I was so impressed I wanted to contribute. Together, with DMU’s Square Mile team, we came up with this project which we hope will inspire young people to take up cricket, but think seriously about sport and healthy nutrition as part of their lifestyle.
"It has been a wonderful year for sport so far and I believe projects like this, which work in schools, will keep the momentum of the Olympic legacy going.”
Phillip Saunders, 20, who studies music technology is taking part in the weekly coaching sessions. He said: "There is no better person to learn from than Paul. He has more than 20 years of experience of playing cricket at the very top level. I’m really enjoying learning coaching skills from him and I’m looking forward to passing them on to young people in the community.”
Square Mile manager Mark Charlton said: “Paul’s knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for cricket shines through during these coaching sessions – he is a huge inspiration to our students. This project will reach out to school pupils across the city, promoting cricket and sport. Hopefully from the school pupils we train, we’ll be able to select a team of highly-talented young cricketers to represent Square Mile.”
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