Mimi's Story Emma Cowdrill, a cricket coach in the Hampshire area, recalls the “quite meteoric” rise of Mimi Ormondroyd, a young primary school student whose enthusiasm for cricket matches her natural talent. Cowdrill first noticed her talent during one of the lunchtime cricket sessions she was putting on at St Peter’s, Mimi’s school. She suggested that Mimi go along to Cove Cricket Club, and it didn’t take long for her to make an impression. The first session she attended was on a Monday, and by Friday she was playing a match. She was then nominated for the under 10 district trials, sailing through the selection process and beginning to train during the winter. The following summer, Mimi was selected to take part in the hard-ball set-up, and was also put up for Under 11 county trials. It came as no shock to Cowdrill that Mimi was selected despite being a year younger than most of the squad. In her first match Mimi took four wickets and two catches. What is so refreshing about Mimi, according to Cowdrill, is that she is “full of the most incredible enthusiasm” and is “very coachable”, all of which leads to her being a very positive role model for those around her. Had it not been for the Chance to Shine programme operating in Mimi’s school, her talent may never have been discovered. Cowdrill says that such schemes have “made an absolutely huge difference” to club cricket in the region. It’s not just Cove CC that has benefitted; a number of other local clubs who have opened their doors to local kids to come and join their youth programmes. Cowdrill has been involved with Chance to Shine for four years. While she readily concedes it has taken a while to work out the best approach to getting kids playing regular cricket, she is energised by the fact that ever-more primary and secondary schools are incorporating the programmes into their curriculums. She believes that the pathway to getting more youngsters into hard-ball cricket will become easier as time goes on; adding that cricket clubs would not be as open to taking on young kids from outside the local area without Chance to Shine. If her rise continues, Mimi may one day get the chance to represent England. But it is just as important that other lesser talented young cricketers are exposed to what a cricket club can offer. Chance to Shine is at the heart of connecting young cricketers to local clubs.