Collingwood backs Chance to Shine
England and Durham star Paul Collingwood is helping to unearth the next generation of cricket talent with his involvement in the Cricket Foundation's Chance to Shine initiative.
Collingwood joined Durham head coach Martyn Moxon and team-mates Phil Mustard and Neil Killeen at Seaton Carew Cricket Club on Monday to launch the campaign for the rejuvenation of cricket in state schools.
Chance to Shine seeks to raise £50 million from both public and private funds in order to regenerate competitive cricket in a third of state schools by 2015, providing high quality, sustainable cricket programmes based upon continuous coaching, skills awards and competition.
In addition, there will be coach and teacher training initiatives, the provision of much-needed facilities and equipment, as well as school holiday activities.
Durham Cricket Board cricket development officer Nick Brown said: "Seaton Carew CC were selected as one of 12 clubs nationally to pilot this scheme. The Club coaches have been coaching 400 young people per week accumulating in inter school festivals throughout July.
"Seaton Carew CC is a rapidly developing Club and is supported by many partners including the Community Club Development Fund and NatWest CricketForce 2005 as well as Chance to Shine."
Durham wicket-keeper Mustard said: "It was fantastic to see so many youngsters enjoying playing cricket. Chance to Shine gives them the chance to play the game at school from an early age, maybe even finding the next star of the Durham squad."
The 12 pilot projects operating through ECB Focus Clubs involve 72 schools and Seaton Carew have been running the pilot scheme for the last seven weeks. In the next 10 years the target is to reach 5,200 primary and 1,500 secondary schools in England and Wales.
The ambitious scheme has already received a boost with more than £4m being pledged. This has arisen through Allianz Cornhill’s committing as the first Official Commercial Partner, The Lord’s Taverners becoming an Official Special Partner and Sir Tim Rice accepting the captaincy of The Patrons XI, which Chance to Shine will be forming.
Barry Brownless, Club President of Seaton Carew CC said, “Chance to Shine has given us the ideal opportunity to work with schools within our local community.
"Through this unique scheme our club will benefit in the short term through the funding provided to train coaches and in the long term to the life-long participation in cricket, as players, supporters and administrators, of the children who are introduced to the game through Chance to Shine.”
Collingwood's England team-mate Matthew Hoggard is the face of the scheme and said: “I was lucky – my school hardly played cricket but my Dad took me to Pudsey Congs Cricket Club. Chance to shine is really important because without cricket in schools too many youngsters will be less lucky than I was. They’ll miss their chance and be lost to the game."