Theresa May welcomed children from the Chance to Shine charity to play a 'Street' cricket match on the most famous street of all today (Tuesday 12 September).
Stumps were set out for the first time in front of Number 10 and girls and boys from Lambeth, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets took part in a demonstration and celebration of Street cricket, using a tape ball - a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape.
The Prime Minister, a keen cricket fan, and participants were joined by England cricketers Heather Knight and Stuart Broad.
Speaking at the event, the Prime Minster said, “It’s been a privilege to meet the young players and inspirational coaches today. The work Chance to Shine does, introducing young people from disadvantaged communities to this great, fast-paced version of cricket, is invaluable. After the success of the England team in the Women’s World Cup this year, I hope boys and girls all over the country will continue to be inspired to get involved with this brilliant sport.”
Chance to Shine Street engages young people aged eight to 24 in areas of socio-economic disadvantage through a fun, fast-paced cricket format. Chance to Shine and England & Wales Cricket Board are partnering to use cricket to foster social cohesion in disadvantaged urban communities. They are also building on the success of England’s 2017 ICC World Cup-winning women to inspire the next generation of girls.
The Government, through Sport England, has provided funding for Chance to Shine since its launch in 2005.
Chance to Shine Street participant Rabiah from Redbridge said “What an amazing experience to play cricket on Downing Street! We met the Prime Minister who asked us about our cricketing careers and what we enjoyed about the game. I love playing cricket and think it has so much to teach you about life; communication skills, working in a team and gives you so much more confidence as well. Thanks so much to Chance to Shine, it’s been an unforgettable.”
Chief executive of Chance to Shine, Luke Swanson said, “Over the course of this magnificent summer for English cricket, many boys and girls have picked up a bat and ball for the very first time. We want to show that the beautiful game is for all young people, and can be played anywhere. What better way to do that than with a game of street cricket in the most famous street of all.
“We are grateful to No 10 for organising a once-in-a-lifetime experience that these young players will never forget, and to government for its enduring support for Chance to Shine. We have now inspired 3.5 million young people to play and learn through cricket; days like today help us to inspire many more.”
Chief Executive Officer of ECB, Tom Harrison added, “Today’s demonstration shows that all you need for a game of cricket is a bat and ball, and we can play anywhere – even in the most famous street in the country.
“We’d like to thank the Prime Minister for being such an enthusiastic supporter of Street cricket. It’s fast-paced and fun, and an important part of our wider plans to make cricket even more accessible to thousands of children nationwide.”
Since 2005, Chance to Shine has given more than 3.5m young people the opportunity to play and learn through cricket; and nearly half (46%) are girls. Until the end of September, donations are being matched £ for £ by the ECB. Visit chancetoshine.org/donate