Children who are physically active are less likely to be obese or develop long-term illness, such as diabetes, as adults. At a time when over a third of Year 6 children are obese or overweight, it is more important now than ever to engage children early and help them develop a passion and a love for sport.

We are proud of the work we do with children to build a positive relationship with sport through cricket.

Building a positive relationship with sport

Most teachers surveyed and interviewed throughout the year felt Chance to Shine had helped to develop their pupils’ basic skills, such as throwing and catching, giving them a sense of confidence that could be carried into other activities.

Our schools' programme has been designed to keep all pupils involved and make sure that they enjoy their experience. For many children, the sessions are not only enjoyable but are changing how they think and feel about sport.

Changing their perception will help to keep more children playing sport as they grow older and ensure that they continue to receive physical benefits of being active.

Sport England research shows that developing physical literacy early on is key. It includes four elements - enjoyment, competence, confidence and understanding of the benefits. 

Making sure cricket is for all

We know how quickly children come to decide whether they are ‘sporty’ or ‘not sporty’; and in our research to understand the barriers to playing cricket, “I’m not good enough”, was repeated time and again. 

Our coaches are skilled in engaging those less likely to take part and, due to the nature of cricket, having many different roles, no one is left out. 

86% of teachers surveyed agreed "Chance to Shine sessions engaged those less likely to be physically active or play sport outside of school".

Cricket brought forward different children to the ‘usual suspects’ that get selected for most of the other team sports. Those children enjoyed it also but it was great to see children, who perhaps considered themselves less able, playing on a par or exceeding the ability of children deemed to be ‘sporty’.

- Mary Mangan, St Joseph's Junior School

Supporting girls to be active

297,381 girls took part in Chance to Shine coaching and competitions in 2019 – almost half of all participants (49%). At a time when eight in 10 teenage girls are physically inactive, we have experienced how cricket can support some girls to build a positive relationship with sport.

In our survey of participants, girls were just as likely to say they had fun and become more confident playing sport, as boys. Many commented on how Chance to Shine had supported them to develop confidence to take risks, make mistakes and continue taking part.

Secondary teachers note the importance of our national tournament Chance to Compete in giving girls something to work towards, with one teacher in Wales: “Chance to Compete has really enthused the girls to play cricket, not just in my school but across the county. It has got more children involved who are perhaps not sporty and who are not cricketers."

Staying active in the city

Chance to Shine Street projects help remove the barriers to being active. Almost three-quarters of Chance to Shine Street participants live in the most deprived areas of England – areas where children and young people are less likely to play sport regularly.

In our research to understand the barriers to taking part, children from these areas spoke about not feeling safe in parks or other public spaces that they may play sport. For many, cost was a major barrier – not only to pay for sessions, but the assumption that they would need to pay for kit.

Chance to Shine has supported these young people to be active through free coaching and competitions in a safe environment. 92% agreed that "I am more physically active" since joining the Street cricket sessions.

If I wasn't playing cricket, I'd be sitting down watching TV

- Amin, Street cricketer