On Chance to Shine's 15th birthday, the national children's cricket charity has announced that it has delivered coaching to its five millionth child.
Chance to Shine, who work closely with the Sussex Cricket Foundation, has delivered coaching in more than 16,000 schools across England and Wales, and runs over 200 Chance to Shine Street cricket projects in urban and disadvantaged communities, since its creation by Mark Nicholas, Mervyn King and Duncan Fearnley in 2015.
Before the COVID-19 lockdown was introduced, the charity delivered coaching to Percet Shurmer Academy in Birmingham, where nine-year-old Yunis Omar attends alongside his Year 5 classmates.
Yunis, who became the five millionth child to receive Chane to Shine coaching, said: "When I play cricket, I feel like there's a crowd watching me! I feel amazing!
"What I like about cricket is the teamwork, because if you don't have teamwork, then you'll never succeed."
Percy Shurmer Academy is near the centre of Birmingham and is in one of the most deprived areas of the city. Much like schools and clubs across Sussex, Percy Shurmer and the academy's PE Coordinator, Rob Gray, have been very keen to provide children with the opportunity to play cricket as a way to keep them active and help them learn the wider benefits that come from the sport.
They have since seen a hugely positive impact upon the children, building teamwork, resilience and communication skills through taking part.
After the session with Yunis and his fellow pupils, Chance to Shine Chief Executive, Laure Cordingley said: "We’re thrilled to be celebrating our 15th birthday and it’s a great opportunity to tell the world about our 5 millionth participant.
"It’s a fantastic milestone, and to hear about the enjoyment that Yunis and his classmates got from their cricket sessions was wonderful, and is a shining example of what cricket can do for young people.
"Whilst the COVID-19 lockdown has halted our direct delivery in schools and communities, it has given us a chance to reflect upon everything we’ve achieved in the last 15 years.
"We’re immensely proud of the positive impact that our programmes have had on children and young people across the country. The last eight weeks have demonstrated the importance of our work in keeping young people active and supporting their mental and social well-being.
"I’d particularly like to thank the ECB and Sport England as well as the corporate partners, trusts, foundations and individual donors who have supported the charity over the years.”
Learn more about the fantastic work Chance to Shine do here.