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Chance To Shine Honours Grass Roots Heroes

Chance To Shine honoured grass roots volunteers including teachers, coaches and puplis from around the country at their annual awards at the Kia Oval last week.

The ceremony, hosted at Surrey's home ground, paid tribute to the people that make the Chance To Shine charitable campaign a success.

BBC Test Match Special commentator Alison Mitchell hosted the event which was also attended by England players Jonny Bairstow and Tamsin Beaumont.

Broadwater School - Satellite Club Of The Year

Broadwater School - Satellite Club Of The Year
©Chance To Shine

Winners included Park Junior School in Wellingborough, who lifted the School Of The Year award sponsored by Smile Travel Group.

In an area where 50 per cent of pupils come from ethnic minority backgrounds, the school has used cricket as a means to break down boundaries and help youngsters make new friends, improving their language skills, self-esteem, behaviour and academic performance.

"We are delighted, we have a number of teachers and members of staff who love cricket, especially me!" headteacher David Tebbutt said.

More Award Winners...

  • Cricketing Ambassador of the Year: Tammy Beaumont
  • Innovation Award: Gordon Calvert/High View Primary
  • Participant of the Year: Holly Grace
  • Project of the Year: Cotswold East
  • Satellite club of the Year supported by Sport England: Broadwater School Special Recognition Award sponsored by Smile Group Travel: Jo Hazelton & Lucy Elms
  • Volunteer of the Year: John Peplow

"Their enthusiasm and their dedication towards cricket is passed on to the children. Chance to Shine has been crucial in that. The coaches run fantastic sessions for the children and hopefully some of them will turn into lifelong cricketers.
"Every single child loves cricket. Whether they go on to play for England or not, every child leaves our school loving cricket.

"That is down to the Chance to Shine coaches and the teachers."

Felixstowe's Emma Jones won the Young Leader Of The Year award for her efforts in encouraging youngsters to join local cricket clubs.

At Felixstowe and Corinthians Youth Cricket Club, she umpires, scores, organises fixtures and arranges coaching courses.

Touted as a coach who may shape the future of cricket in Suffolk, Jones said:

"I’m really surprised. It is a big shock to win. I didn’t realise how big the award is and how many people have been nominated for it.
"I love coaching and seeing the children progress. I had one kid come and thank me after a session recently and it’s such a good feeling."

Jo Hazelton and Lucy Elms - Special Recognition Award

Jo Hazelton and Lucy Elms - Special Recognition Award
©Chance To Shine

There was a Special Recognition award for Huw Buckle for his tireless work in promoting girls cricket, working with local schools to set up a now-thriving girls section of Maidenhead and Bray Cricket Club.

"I’m extremely honoured," he said. "I genuinely think there are more worthy winners. It’s a fantastic achievement for Maidenhead and Bray cricket club and the local schools including Newlands in particular.
"The girls have been fantastic. Without them I would never have received this award. I feel incredibly humble and thrilled to have received it.

"You do it because you love it but when you receive an award like this it shows that people like me can be recognised for doing something that we love."

Joe Ashdown picked up the Coach Of The Year award for work done promoting cricket in Yorkshire.

He has been heavily involved in increasing the number of girls receiving training sessions, inspiring a new generation of women cricketers in Yorkshire.

"I’m completely overwhelmed," he said.

"There are so many coaches out there so to win the award is an absolute pleasure, I’m gobsmaked It was fantastic to have Jonny present the award. He’s an inspiration to all of the children in Yorkshire."

Yorkshire's Bairstow added: "Tonight is about recognising a fantastic bunch of people from an array of different backgrounds around the country.

"They have all done a fantastic job for Chance to Shine in the last year."

Holly Grace - Participant Of The Year

Holly Grace - Participant Of The Year
©Chance To Shine

Talking about Chance to Shine, Bairstow said, "The campaign is keeping cricket alive. Without it, football and sports like basketball, which are slightly easier and cheaper to do, are going to take over. Chance to Shine is doing a fantastic job and long may it continue."

Chance To Shine chief executive Wasim Khan MBE added: "The awards are our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the coaches, teachers, volunteers and county boards who are vital to the success of Chance to Shine.

"Without them, this campaign simply wouldn’t work. Thanks to them children around the country are getting the opportunity to play and learn through cricket."

© Cricket World 2014