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17 October 2008 - PR 08/146

Cricket helps state school children shine, says new report

Cricket can have a significant impact on children’s attitudes and behaviour in state schools, according to new research carried out by Loughborough University’s Institute of Youth Sport.

The report, which was commissioned by the Cricket Foundation, also highlights how the English game can help improve pupils’ confidence and social skills, overcome cultural barriers, generate enthusiasm within the classroom and increase activity levels.

The Institute of Youth Sport evaluated the impact of Chance to shine – the Cricket Foundation’s campaign to regenerate competitive cricket in state schools – and found that a number of schools have used the programme effectively to encourage and reinforce good behaviour.

Both pupils and teachers acknowledge, in the report, the value of cricket for providing young people with positive experiences and helping them to develop ‘gentlemanly conduct’.

“With cricket there is very much a code of conduct and code of behaviour such as clapping if somebody gets a six even with the other side,” said a teacher involved in the scheme.

At one school the teacher had organised after-school sessions for a group of disaffected boys as a reward for good behaviour and attendance. The Chance to shine cricket coaching sessions proved an ideal way to re-engage the pupils back into school.

In the report’s survey, only 39 per cent of pupils agree that they and their peers are well behaved in school generally; while 60 per cent agree that pupils are well behaved in Chance to shine sessions.

As one child explains: “It has given us something that we can be good at and we’ve really enjoyed it…because we have been able to show our teachers and each other that we can be good at something, because usually everyone just thinks we are bad and causing trouble.”

Ruth Jeanes, co-author of the Loughborough University report, says: “The research demonstrates the potential of Chance to shine to contribute to pupils’ wider educational experience. Children’s physical and social skills were felt to have improved.

“We also found that pupils believed they were considerable more active in Chance to shine, and at a higher intensity levels, than in their usual PE lesson, which illustrates the value of the programme to young people’s health and well being.”

This was supported by the teachers, who felt that all of the class tended to engage in Chance to shine, rather than the core ‘sporty’ few in ordinary PE.

A number of teachers also support the idea that schools can use competitive sports like cricket to improve children’s self esteem and confidence, both in PE sessions and more broadly within the classroom. The evaluation also shows how cricket can help children from different ethnic backgrounds, whose first language is not English, to integrate in schools.

“A lot of our children have academic difficulties and we do find that in sporting activities they may have a hidden talent” says one state school teacher, “A lot of our Bengali children may have English as an additional language but if you get them on a cricket pitch they are up there with their peers or even ahead …It gives them a sense of self worth that they are good at something which raises their self-esteem.”

The research highlights how the cricket coaching sessions affect children’s attitude to school with 83 per cent of pupils saying they like coming into school when Chance to shine takes place; compared to 64 per cent who usually like school.

Wasim Khan, Operations Director for the Cricket Foundation says: “The Loughborough research reveals the extensive impact the initiative is having on pupils across a number of areas. Through expert coaching and competition, Chance to shine is delivering sustainable cricket programmes as well as contributing significantly to the provision of high quality PE.”

Simon Dyson, Executive Chairman, Chance to shine adds: “We’ve always recognised the power of competitive cricket to help young people acquire skills, values and attitudes. The evaluation appears to validate this conviction and is tremendously encouraging, not only for us, but for the thousands of state school children involved in the programme.”

To view the Institute of Youth Sport’s full report, ‘The impact of Chance to shine’, visit www.chancetoshine.org

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Fabian Devlin
Communications Manager
The Cricket Foundation,
T: 07920 502 152
E: fabian.devlin.cricketfoundation@ecb.co.uk

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

  • About Chance to shine
    Chance to shine, the Cricket Foundation’s campaign to regenerate competitive cricket in state schools, is the single biggest school-sport development initiative ever undertaken in Britain. It has already introduced over 200,000 children to cricket in around 2,000 schools. 45% per cent of the children involved in 2008 were girls. The campaign aims to raise £25 million of private funding to create sustainable cricket cultures within one third of all state schools in England and Wales over (an initial period of) ten years. The Government is committed to matching all funds raised pound for pound.
  • Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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