Research carried out by Loughborough University, Britain’s leading sports science academy, has shown that cricket is one of the best ways to teach children about the three F’s – Fitness, Friendship and Fair play.
Studies have shown that children that have been involved in the Chance to Shine initiative, which encourages cricket to be taught in state schools, start to behave better in and out of class.
“Whilst Chance to shine is undoubtedly having a positive impact on general cricket provision and the development of opportunities for young people, its contribution to improving the social wellbeing of many of its participants illustrates that it is much more than just a cricket development initiative.” Dr Ruth Jeanes, Loughborough University.
For a long time parents have been complaining that school games lessons are becoming too watered down, with many different sports being demonstrated to children and not enough focus on a few core sports that allow children to develop better skills.
Children that have been interviewed have all been very positive about cricket. Girls have commented that there is less cheating. In mixed classes, boys would trip and kick girls in football, whereas such behaviour does not occur on the cricket field. Also there is less selfishness than in other sports, as everyone has to pull together as a team.
“I think it’s massively important for kids to get involved in cricket for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a lot of fun. But it can also teach you a lot of good things – respect, self-confidence, discipline, all things you need to grow up as a good person.” Andrew Flintoff is the ambassador for the Chance to Shine movement.
So, time for all Essex state schools to start teaching children cricket again?
What is Chance to Shine?
“Chance to shine is the single biggest school sport development initiative ever undertaken in Britain. We need your help to raise the £25million needed to keep this important programme running.” Visit the official website www.chancetoshine.org for more information.
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