Ambassadors

Chance to Shine is incredibly lucky to have some amazing ambassadors. Here are some who regularly pledge their support for the charity.

Chance to Shine is incredibly lucky to have some amazing ambassadors. Here are some who regularly pledge their support for the charity.

Chance to Shine is magnificent. We’re never going to have a great England cricket side in another 20 years unless Chance to Shine does it work. It goes throughout the country giving an opportunity to those brilliant cricketers who have never yet even seen a cricket ball.

There may be some geniuses out there who have never watched a match of cricket, never thought that cricket might be something that would give them pleasure and Chance to Shine exists entirely to spread the word about cricket and to enthuse amongst those who are naturally endowed with that mysterious gift that makes you a great cricketer.
– Stephen Fry

Captain of the England side, Heather Knight has been a coaching ambassador for Chance to Shine since breaking into the team in 2010. Heather replaced Charlotte Edwards as England captain in 2016 and led England to triumph at the Cricket World Cup in 2017 on home soil. Heather received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List following the World Cup triumph. Heather and the team have been an incredibly inspiring force for the game and for young girls in particular.

Heather’s work with Chance to Shine has helped to inspire thousands of girls and boys to take part in the sport. Knowing how beneficial the sport has been for her, Heather hopes that the children can learn from it too: “It’s fantastic to see the smiles on the children’s faces and to see they’re enjoying their cricket. They can learn a huge amount from the sport that will help them later in life in terms of communication, team-work and respect.”

Watch as Heather returned to her old school, Elburton Primary with Chance to Shine:

 

Former Governor of the Bank of England, Lord King, is President of Chance to Shine. He first fell in love with cricket at Wolverhampton Grammar School and is a co-founder of our campaign. Lord King, along with Mark Nicholas and Duncan Fearnley, launched the Chance to Shine initiative to arrest the decline in state school cricket.

For Lord King, cricket was hugely beneficial: “Playing cricket at school taught me the importance of practice and team-work. Captaining a side on the field helped me significantly in my career in later years.

I believe that cricket can play a unique role in the education of children. It is the ultimate team game that reaches across boundaries of gender, race and class, offering opportunity to all.”

Rock and roll legend Sir Mick Jagger is a long-time supporter of the game and of Chance to Shine’s work. In September 2018, Mick challenged the England and India teams to raise as much money for the charity as possible.

Mick pledged to back the players on both teams to the tune of £20,000 each time one of them scored a hundred or took five wickets and £10,000 if they scored a fifty or took three wickets. The game, which saw Alastair Cook score a magnificent century in his final match, ended with an England win and Mick’s donation totalled £190,000.

Speaking before the game, Mick said “I follow England – the game in general, in fact – from wherever I am in the world and thought this would be a fun way to make some money for Chance to Shine. It’s been an exciting series that has got people talking cricket so let’s reflect that; with every inspiring performance comes a new fan and the younger those fans are, the better it is for cricket’s future.”

After his promising England career was cut short by a serious heart illness in 2016, James has become an inspiring Chance to Shine ambassador. Every year since, James has visited schools and communities across the country on behalf of the charity, talking to the children and young people about his own experiences of the sport and how they helped him get through a remarkably difficult period of his life.

James credits cricket with giving him the resilience and mental strength to deal with the serious incident as well as helping him continue his life after cricket. Having worked in TV and radio since his diagnosis, James held roles as England selector and Head Scout until stepping down in June 2022.

Watch James’ inspiring story:

The Channel Five Cricket presenter was responsible, along with our President Lord King and Vice President Duncan Fearnley, for the inception of Chance to Shine in 2005 when he helped to persuade the Cricket Foundation charity to devote all its efforts on a schools’ cricket campaign.

Mark felt strongly that the decline in cricket in state schools had to be reversed.

Mark has continued his strong support for the campaign ever since, regularly hosting fundraising events, attending school visits and promoting Chance to Shine at every opportunity.

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