ECB doubles its investment to bring cricket to state school children
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ECB doubles its investment to bring cricket to state school children

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More than half a million school children a year will have the opportunity to participate in cricket as a result of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) doubling its investment in the Chance to Shine programme.

From October 2017, cricket’s national governing body will plough at least £2.5m into the children’s cricket charity, from the £1.25m annual donation it used to pledge.

The new investment means that from 2017/18, more than 500,000 kids from state schools will be exposed to professional cricket coaching funded by Chance to Shine, expanding the charity’s current reach of 300,000.

More children are expected to benefit as a result of support packages and training delivered to school teachers.

According to the ECB, the move will “capitalise on new interest in the sport” which is likely to be ignited by the nation hosting the ICC Champions Trophy and Women’s World Cup in 2017, and the World Cup and home Ashes series in 2019.

To help galvanise Chance to Shine’s efforts to generate income from private fundraising, the ECB has also pledged to match donor contributions of up to £500,000 per year.

Matt Dwyer, director of participation and growth at the ECB, said that the partnership would introduce more children to cricket and encourage engagement with local clubs.

“We believe cricket is uniquely placed to enrich the lives of young people, whether that be through the development of nine of the 10 fundamental movement skills, the fact that we are the only sport that incorporates our values into the official rules of the game, or the fact that cricket can deliver so many in-class curriculum outcomes,” he added.

Chance to Shine chief executive Luke Swanson said the agreement will “dramatically expand cricket’s presence in primary schools”.

In addition, the ECB and Chance to Shine will develop a new primary schools programme over the next 12 months, which will be delivered in partnership with the 39 county cricket boards in England and Wales.

The partners have agreed to “three core objectives” for the programme: to give young people a “great first experience of cricket”; the support teachers to build a sustainable culture in state schools; and help young people learn life skills.

Since 2005, Chance to Shine has reached 12,000 state schools and more than three million young people.

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