Atkins takes up Chance to shine role

Caroline Atkins

Caroline Atkins will aim to pass on her expertise when she begins her coaching role in schools in the south-west

England women’s batsman Caroline Atkins is relishing the prospect of doing her bit for the next generation of women cricketers.

The opener – a member of the all-conquering England’s women’s side – begins a coaching contract with Chance to shine this month, joining a growing band of internationals who combine representing their country with spreading the word in schools.

Based at Taunton, the home of women’s cricket, Atkins will spearhead a new scheme in the south-west of England aimed at boosting grassroots involvement in the sport, and amongst girls in particular.

“I am delighted to be joining the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to shine campaign,” she said. “I feel privileged to be in a position where I have the opportunity to help our sport grow.

“I’m very excited to be going into schools to give children the opportunity to play cricket, especially at a time when women’s cricket is enjoying such success.”

Wasim Khan, chief executive of Chance to shine, claims the fruits of the scheme have been seen across the country.

He said: “The success of our partnership with ECB to provide coaching contracts for England women can be measured by both the impact it has had on Chance to shine and by the achievements of the players on the pitch.

“Not only are the current England team the best team in the world, but the young children being coached at grassroots level are getting the most inspirational coaches to give them the opportunity to play cricket.”

Clare Connor, head of women’s cricket at the ECB, said: "It is brilliant that the England women's cricket team has another key player, in Caroline Atkins, contracted to the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to shine campaign.

“So far, we have seen impressive results from having a significant number of the England women working in these ambassador/coach roles with Chance to shine.

“There is no doubt that girls are now clamouring to play cricket and we are lucky to have world champion role models in our England women's team to harness that enthusiasm and to ensure a bright future for our sport.”