Playing for Success Educational Programme Launched

Yorkshire County Cricket Club and North Yorkshire County Council launched the North Yorkshire Playing for Success Educational programme on Monday 25 January 2010 - an educational programme enhancing achievement in numeracy and literacy among 10 to 14-year-olds through cricket themed activities. 

The scheme is the first of its kind in the country delivering cricket themed classroom work and cricket coaching in schools. Pupils from Harrogate High School and Bilton Grange Primary School will take part in 75 minutes classroom based activity and 75 minutes of cricket and multi-skills coaching over the next six weeks of the pilot study. The coaching element will be delivered by Pro Coach Yorkshire Cricket Ltd providing the children with the opportunity to be coached by current and former Yorkshire players.

The programme will culminate in a Presentation Evening at Bilton Cricket Club on Friday 12 March to celebrate the students’ hard work and is then due to expand across the North Yorkshire region from Summer term 2010.

The programme is an expansion of the Headingley Learning Centre Playing for Success Scheme which has been running successfully for eight years. The Headingley Learning Centre is part of a network of 162 learning centres in the country, including 10 cricket centres. Playing for Success is a nationwide ‘out of school hours’ learning programme supported by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, local authorities and sport clubs. The aim is to raise achievement in literacy, numeracy and ICT skills for children who are at risk of underachieving, using the stimulus of sport as motivation.

Stewart Regan, Chief Executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “Many children find it difficult to concentrate at school, are not learning as well as they might or perhaps need a different way of motivating them. We think that this scheme will help to inspire the youngsters in North Yorkshire and help them succeed in the short and longer term. Previously the children that benefited from the scheme at Headingley Carnegie were primarily from West Yorkshire. As a Club we represent the entire county and this scheme provides us with an opportunity to reach out to other parts of the county.”

Andy McCarthy of Children and Young People’s Services at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “A lot of the youngsters covered by this pilot scheme come from slightly disadvantaged backgrounds and by putting the sports and classroom environment together it will motivate the youngsters, improve their attitudes to learning in the classroom and help them succeed.”

Andy Bayston, Principal of Harrogate High School, said: “Our youngsters are really excited about visiting Headingley Carnegie Stadium for the launch of this scheme. This is a project that is tried and tested and to bring it to our young people of Harrogate and Bilton is extremely exciting. It will give them the opportunity to gain a blend of learning, but also the chance to learn through activity.”

Joe Sayers, YCCC player, said: “From my experience of combining education with sport there is a big crossover and a lot can be learnt in either environment that can be applied in other fields. The children that are part of this scheme will learn a great deal about how to operate as part of a team, perhaps how to lead a team and the discipline that is required to perform in a sporting sense at their current level. This scheme provides the children with a tremendous opportunity which they should definitely make the most of.”

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