Chance to Shine is on a mission to spread the power of cricket throughout schools and communities, and reinforce the importance of grassroots cricket – and recently engaged the support of Pakistan pace bowler Wahab Riaz to inspire East London youngsters.
Since 2005, the Chance to Shine Schools programme has reached three million boys and girls, helping children in state schools play and learn through cricket.
Wahab stepped back in time to his youth and tested his skills out with a tape-ball, before taking part in a Street cricket match, much to the delight of the local kids.
Speaking at The Peter May Centre in Walthamstow, the Chance to Shine Ambassador said: “I’m proud to support Chance to Shine Street. I remember how important cricket was when I was growing up and it taught me so many valuable lessons that helped me on and off the cricket pitch.
“Cricket has the power to break down barriers and support young people from all backgrounds to realise their dreams and develop important life skills.”
Chance to Shine Street is cricket, but not as you know it. Free, weekly sessions are held all year round at community venues, such as leisure centres, sports halls and caged areas around housing estates and parks.
Games are based on an exciting six-a-side format using a tape-ball – a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape. It is inclusive, lots of fun and accessible with little equipment required and everyone getting a chance to bat, bowl and field.
Chance to Shine’s grassroots cricket initiative is not designed to target the next England star, but to promote social cohesion and increase aspirations of young people in inner-city areas affected by youth crime.
Over the past eleven years, Chance to Shine proved that the inclusive nature of grassroots cricket has the ability to unite young people from different communities; teach life skills such as discipline, teamwork and respect; and help to shape the future of young people for the better.
To find out more, visit chancetoshine.org or follow us @Chance2Shine