Cricket Inspires schoolchildren across the country Chance to Shine has launched ‘Cricket Inspires’ – a campaign to take ambassadors from the world of cricket back to schools across England and Wales - to get thousands of children excited about cricket during a significant year for the sport. Cricket Inspires will aim to get current and former cricketers to go into schools this year, to use the momentum of the first ICC Cricket World Cup on home soil since 1999 as well as series against Australia for both the Men and Women’s sides. Chance to Shine is working with the England and Wales Cricket Board, the First-Class and National Counties as well the County Cricket Boards, Professional Cricketer’s Association, the ICC Cricket World Cup and other partners to get current and former players back into the classroom to provide inspirational experiences for school children. Each year, Chance to Shine works with around 500,000 children, giving them the opportunity to play and learn through cricket. A vital part of this is to excite the children about the sport and seeing and hearing from a professional cricketer is a hugely successful way to do this. Chance to Shine is delighted to announce that both Matt Prior and James Taylor will be supporting the organisation this year as charity ambassadors. Whilst, one of the greats of English cricket Charlotte Edwards, a Trustee of Chance to Shine, will also be supporting the Cricket Inspires campaign. Ambassadors will be visiting schools on behalf of Chance to Shine to speak about their own experiences of the sport and the valuable life skills that it has taught them. James Taylor, who has been a Chance to Shine ambassador since his retirement in 2016, said “I’m delighted to continue to represent Chance to Shine. I have been very fortunate to visit many of the schools they work with and to speak to the children about playing cricket. Chance to Shine is making a huge difference to their lives and is helping them to learn through playing the sport. I believe that the power of cricket can help children to learn vital skills like resilience and determination which will help them in life as well as in their sporting education.” Matt Prior said: “I’m really excited to be supporting Chance to Shine this year. I have always loved representing the charity throughout my career and I’m looking forward to getting back to school to inspire children across the country. It’s brilliant to see how the boys and, especially, the girls are taking to the sport and the work Chance to Shine does in providing the opportunity to play cricket is so important. “The work Chance to Shine does is crucial to the health of the game and I’m also going to be taking on a big fundraising challenge for the charity so keep an eye out for that!” Laura Cordingley, Chief Executive of Chance to Shine, said “A visit from a current or former professional cricketer can have a profound impact on a child. An opportunity to meet a role model can be a hugely inspiring moment and can show the children that if they want to pursue a career in cricket where they could end up. Cricket Inspires is a way for the world of cricket to come together and make the most of what 2019’s events can do for the game. “I’m so pleased to have both James and Matt supporting the charity this year. Along with Charlotte, they are terrific role models and I hope they can teach the young people they meet some key life skills as well as getting them enthused about cricket.” To find out more about the campaign, visit chancetoshine.org/cricket-inspires.