Chance to Shine Secondary Schools Comp gears up for finale at Northants County Ground This year, the Cricket Foundation piloted a national hard-ball competition involving 70 Chance to Shine secondary schools across four regions. Few of the state schools taking part played any cricket when Chance to Shine was established six years ago, and even fewer had the opportunity to play against other schools competitively. The resounding success of the pilot has demonstrated a clear need for such a programme to be launched nationwide next year. In the regional competitions, each school played seven matches, culminating in regional finals. Now the regional winners will have the chance to become national champions. The final will be held under floodlights on the 16th of September at Northamptonshire County Ground (pictured), giving those taking part a once in a lifetime experience of what it's like to be a first class cricketer. The schools contesting the semi-finals will be: Silverdale Secondary School - Yorkshire, Saltley Secondary School - Warwickshire, Challney High School - Bedfordshire, Queen Elizabeth's Community College - Devon The final will take place immediately after the semi-finals. Next year, Chance to Shine aims to roll out this competition to the 550 secondary schools which are part of the growing programme. Importantly, this competition helps both state schools that previously played little or no cricket and those which are better equipped, but have previously lacked a competitive stage, as Wasim Khan, the Cricket Foundation's chief executive explained: "One of the key findings from the early years was that secondary schools, with their specialist PE teachers, already felt equipped to deliver cricket; but they needed assistance with arranging competitive hard-ball matches with other schools." We've been delighted by the interest in our national competition this season. We've seen a sharp increase in interest in cricket particularly among girls, following the success of the England women. We will continue to work closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board to maximise the recent success of the England men's team. Everything we do has a sustainable focus.