Cricket charity Chance to Shine has launched its ‘Schools’ cricket programme in Scotland for the first time, partnering with Cricket Scotland to take cricket into 18 schools in Aberdeenshire.
The charity aims to give all children the opportunity to play, learn and develop through cricket, teaching key life skills and supporting their physical, social and mental wellbeing. Cricket Scotland coaches have started working in Peterhead schools to bring cricket to more kids than ever before.
The Aberdeenshire programme is the first time that Chance to Shine has worked in Scotland and it will also be rolled out in Edinburgh later this month.
The initiative has been made possible thanks to financial support from Sir Donald Brydon, Chair and long-term supporter of Chance to Shine and Inverurie-based butcher Donald Russell and their parent company Vestey Holdings.
Sir Donald Brydon said: “It gives me great pride to be supporting Chance to Shine as we expand our work into Scotland. Cricket was an important part of my childhood, growing up in Edinburgh, and the new programmes offer a fantastic opportunity for children to experience the sport, learn new skills and develop their wider wellbeing.”
Chris Dunridge, Head of HR and Development at Donald Russell said: “It’s more important than ever that children are able to be active, so we are delighted to be supporting Chance to Shine in Aberdeenshire. The opportunity for children to learn new skills and life lessons through cricket will have a positive impact on our local community.”
Children at Clerkhill Primary School have been benefitting from the programme. With coaching led by the Cricket Scotland Development Team, they have also been visited by Scotland players Michael Leask and Craig Wallace.
Scotland wicketkeeper Craig Wallace said: “I was lucky growing up that both my parents played cricket and that led to me playing. But if you have kids playing with their friends in school and enjoying it, then hopefully that will lead to kids pursuing it further. That’s why Chance to Shine is so good, because it gets into schools and makes cricket fun.”
Dr Martin Auld, a trustee of the North East Scotland Cricket SCIO said: “The North East Scotland Cricket Charity is delighted that Chance to Shine and Cricket Scotland have chosen this area to pilot a programme of cricket development for young people. Cricket has been played in North East Scotland since at least the 1850s and continuing to nurture and develop young players is crucial to the health of the game.”
While the Chance to Shine programme is already underway in schools, there will be even more opportunities for local kids to get involved through their ‘Street’ cricket programme launching in Peterhead after the summer holidays.
Chance to Shine Chief Operating Officer Steve Peyman said: “We’re thrilled to be taking our Schools and Street programmes to Scotland for the first time. Over the last 16 years we have seen the positive impact that cricket can have on children’s physical, mental and social wellbeing and the launch of our programmes in Scotland marks an exciting new step for the charity.”
“We are looking forward to working with Cricket Scotland to give more children the opportunity to play, learn and develop through cricket.”