Chance to Shine is an independent charity that works to spread the power of cricket in schools and communities across the country.

Beginnings

The charity was established as ‘The Cricket Foundation’ in 1981 and was initially the charitable arm of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB). It was responsible for allocating payments to the County Boards for grassroots and youth cricket. Over the course of 15 years it invested over £30 million to create opportunities for young people to play cricket. In 1996, ECB took on the responsibility of managing all cricket in England & Wales and the Cricket Foundation became an independent charity.

Chance to Shine

In 2005, the Cricket Foundation focused the majority of their efforts on the new initiative: Chance to Shine. Chance to Shine was founded by, the then Governor of the Bank of England, Lord King of Lothbury; broadcaster Mark Nicholas and cricket equipment manufacturer Duncan Fearnley. The three agreed that something needed to be done to reinvigorate state school cricket and ensure that all children were given the opportunity to play the sport that they loved. England’s Andrew Strauss and Matthew Hoggard officially launched the first Chance to Shine School on 23 May in Bethnal Green, London.

Chance to Shine initially worked by pairing schools with local clubs to provide expertise in their cricket lessons as well as the opportunity to transition if the children were interested. As the charity has grown and developed, it has moved towards a delivery method that uses the network of 39 County Cricket Boards and an army of around 1,000 cricket coaches who support the coaching of cricket in schools across the country.

To celebrate the sport and to raise awareness for the organisation, National Cricket Day was launched in 2008. Over 500 schools took part and turned their curriculum over to the sport. In 2011, it was expanded to become National Cricket Week and around 1,500 schools now take part each year.

In 2010, the charity reached its 1 millionth child; 2 millionth in 2012; 3 millionth child in 2016 and 4 millionth in 2018.

In 2015, The Cricket Foundation was rebranded and the charity became officially known as Chance to Shine. With this came a new logo, style and branding colours.

Chance to Shine Street

In 2008, Chance to Shine Street (formerly known as StreetChance) was launched. The programme was focused on inner-city areas and was dedicated to providing children and young people who might not have access to traditional cricket clubs with a place to play the game. The programme was initially piloted in London and Birmingham before moving to more cities across the UK.

Chance to Shine Street has become a powerful way for young people from disadvantaged communities to play cricket in a safe environment, build friendships and feel part of their local community. In 2017, Sport England pledged £3 million over three years to help the programme expand to nearly 200 projects across the country.