Angels Of The North

Rosie and Lily Grant are two of the brightest prospects in Durham’s academy, and love playing the new game they’ve discovered.

Their first taste of cricket came through sessions put on by Chance to Shine and Shotley Bridge CC – Paul Collingwood’s club – during PE lessons at their primary school, and both girls have been grateful for the opportunity to play sport more seriously. “It was really good to feel that we were properly playing. It was the whole class that did it, and to be able to do it with the boys rather than separate made it feel more equal,” says Rosie.

While cricket is still a sport which all too few girls are playing, it’s a central plank of Chance to Shine’s mission to reverse this situation, as Lily notes: “It’s good for girls to get the opportunity. There’s not really very many girls compared to all the boys that do it.”



Watch Rosie and Lily’s story here:

Cricket has also been a great outlet for both girls socially, with their successes on the field matched by their enjoyment. “They’ve made a lot of new friends,” says mum Julia. “That’s why we like it so much because they enjoy it a lot.”

The sisters did more than just compete and enjoy themselves, with their abilities marking them out from the rest of their peers. Coach Phil Melons, who ran those first sessions, adds that they had “the talent and a natural ambition to play cricket more” which shone through. Lily and Rosie are both amazed at how far they’ve come. “I always thought that to play for Durham you had to be really really good, and better than I was,” says Lily. “I never thought I would actually get a place at Durham,” adds Rosie.

While both girls have certainly earned their places at the club, they recognise the role that Chance to Shine has played in their development. Rosie, who was the leading wicket-taker for Durham under 15s last year, says: “Without the charity we probably wouldn’t be here playing for the county today.”


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