New Impact Report published Despite the pandemic, over 296,857 young people play cricket through coaching sessions between September 2019 and March 2021. Chance to Shine reach as many girls as boys for the first time. Analysis of over 8,500 surveys shows that coaches are the most important factor in creating love for cricket. Interest in cricket has become sustained in schools with nearly 9 in 10 teachers saying they want to carry on playing the game in their school every year. Chance to Shine today (Thursday 27 May) published its Impact Report covering the period from September 2019-March 2021. Despite the interruption of the pandemic, the charity delivered coaching sessions to 296,857 young people in that period and for the first time gave as many girls as boys the opportunity to play cricket. Click here to read the report Before delivery was halted on Wednesday 18 March 2020, 208,947 young people took part in Chance to Shine coaching sessions in state primary and secondary schools and in communities across the country. The split of 50% boys and girls is the first time that the charity has achieved gender parity, although the figure has been around 49% girls for several years. The closure of schools in March 2019 meant that around 400,000 young people missed out on playing cricket during the last academic year. The charity responded with weekly ‘Cricket at Home’ videos sent to teachers to pass on to pupils at home, which were viewed over 520,000 times and were used by 80% of teachers surveyed. Since the lifting of Covid-restrictions in August 2020, 80,423 young people have taken part in in-person coaching, with a further 7,478 taking part in sessions in school with a coach delivering to them via a video call. During the January-March 2021 lockdown, the charity ran hugely successful live streamed sessions which saw over 36,000 schools and households join in over 7 weeks. Analysis shows that coaches are the most important factor in creating a love for cricket In-depth analysis of data collected since 2016 has also given Chance to Shine greater insight into what works for supporting young people to play cricket. This has shown that the most important factor in children liking cricket is that they like their coach. Other factors like gender, previous experience of cricket and overall interest in sport did not play a role in whether children enjoyed the sessions. Analysis has also shown that, after receiving coaching in their school from Chance to Shine, teachers see the value in playing cricket and are keen to continue to do so. Between 2018-2020, 88% of teachers said they would continue cricket coaching in their PE curriculum. Chance to Shine sessions have been delivered in a third of all primary schools across England and Wales since 2017, with a further 20% having signed up to use online coaching resources from the Chance to Shine Portal. The report also includes some inspiring stories of the impact that the charity’s work has on young people. A passionate cricketer, 18-year-old Faizah has struggled with mental health issues throughout her teenage years. She has learnt to care for her mental health and credits the friendships and support network she built at her local Chance to Shine Street cricket project in Birmingham with helping her. She is now breaking the taboo of speaking about mental health challenges and is supporting the other girls who attend the project deal with their own personal or social difficulties. Her story is on p.27 on the report and can be watched below. The report covers the four different areas which the charity believes that cricket can impact young people: physical wellbeing, personal development, mental wellbeing and social wellbeing. It also outlines how the charity works to create opportunities for young people to play cricket; for many it is the first time they’ve pick up a bat and a ball. Vanessa Greene, Head of Impact & Evaluation at Chance to Shine, said “We’re incredibly proud of what we have managed to achieve over the last 18 months, despite the obvious challenges that have arisen. In particular, reaching as many girls as boys is something we’re absolutely thrilled to have managed and we hope that we can continue this in our future work. “We are indebted to the coaches and delivery staff across the country who have had to adapt and get creative to keep bringing the power of cricket to young people. The Covid pandemic has shown just how important it is to be active, not just for our physical health but also our mental wellbeing as well.” Chance to Shine is supported by key funding partners the England & Wales Cricket Board and Sport England. Alongside corporate partners like NatWest and Yorkshire Tea, all stood by the charity during the past year. Their support, and that from generous individual donors and trusts and foundations, has ensured that the charity was able to continue working to help young people when they needed it most. Click here to read the full report. This summer, donations to Chance to Shine are being matched £ for £ by the Charity Patron Adrian Beecroft. Give today to make your donation go twice as far at chancetoshine.org/donate.