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Big boost for girls cricket

By Laura Taylor, Mar 8 2019 08:21AM

Children’s sports charity Chance to Shine is marking a major milestone on International Women’s Day today reaching its two millionth girl to play, learn and develop through cricket since 2005.

Nine-year-old Keira McDermott from Langley Primary School in Staffordshire has become the two millionth girl to pick up a cricket bat and ball through the Chance to Shine programme.

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards revealed the news during a special school assembly at Langley Primary, awarding Keira with a certificate to celebrate the achievement.

Meanwhile chief cxecutive Laura Cordingley today announced funding for a new Chance to Shine cricket programme in state secondary schools, reaching over 14,000 girls through 120 schools.

Currently only one in ten teenage girls get the physical activity they need each day and one in ten play for a sports team, as opposed to one in three boys.

The new scheme, launching next month, will provide a comprehensive programme of coaching, leadership training and competition to teenage girls.

It will include:

• Girls-only after-school clubs in 120 state secondary schools aimed at building confidence, skilling teams and developing role models for 3,500 young people.

• Leadership training to 1,200 girls aged 14-16, building the skills to support and run their own after-school cricket club, volunteering alongside their coach in their old primary school and setting up and running a cricket festival for local primary schools on their secondary school site.

• Engaging 3,500 year 6 girls to experience cricket through festivals organised by young leaders.

• County and regional competitions and festivals for 7,000 girls.

• Digital resources to support schools nationally to engage girls and boys in Chance to Shine.

Speaking at Langley Primary School, Charlotte Edwards said: “It’s such a proud moment for me to meet Chance to Shine’s two millionth girl, Keira, and to celebrate on International Women’s Day this massive milestone with the charity.

“For me, when I was young, there were absolutely no opportunities for girls to play cricket in school – zero - and I played for the boys’ team. It’s therefore really inspiring to see so many girls not only playing the game at school, but also learning valuable skills like teamwork, leadership and self-confidence; as well as improving their physical and mental health.”

Chance to Shine chief executive Laura Cordingley added: “When we visit schools and ask girls about having equal sporting opportunities as boys they all speak passionately and, without missing a beat say, ‘Girls are just as good as boys and should have the same opportunities to play cricket’. As one head teacher told me, ‘Our girls don’t want to be making the cricket teas, they want to play’

“Each year we are giving hundreds of thousands of young girls the chance to play the game and now, with our exciting new secondary schools programme launching in April, we can inspire even more. To reach two million girls is a phenomenal effort and a credit to everyone who is involved in Chance to Shine.”

Chance to Shine works with 39 county cricket boards to fund high quality cricket coaches to deliver cricket to around 500,000 children in 4,000 state primary schools each year (15,000 since 2005) and urban community areas nationally through its Chance to Shine Street initiative.