I took cricket by the horns

Karen Douglas is a PE specialist teacher at Tennyson Road Primary School in Luton. In 2017, Howard Moxon from Bedfordshire Cricket Board offered the school Chance to Shine. Howard not only inspired the children but Karen too. In the following year, Karen continued to lead cricket in the school, helping other teachers to become confident in cricket by using the online lesson plans.

“Howard came in to the school last year and I thought ‘this is amazing’. That’s how we got into cricket. He really wowed my Year 5 and 6’s and I learned a lot from him. “From there, I was like ok, let’s run with this and I took it by the horns. We didn’t have Chance to Shine come in again this year so I just ran it  in school myself and set up a club. Really,  Howard gave me the confidence to do that. I feel very lucky

“Because I see every class for PE once a week, I’ve used the Chance to Shine cricket lesson  plans with 300 children – everyone. You go to  the website and it’s all there. There is absolutely no excuse not to do it. You cannot say ‘I don’t know what’s going on’ because it’s all written out, and if you still don’t get it there’s a video. For me, as a PE specialist, the lesson plans have been excellent but for a non-specialist teacher they  are absolutely superb.

“I did a training session for all teachers in the school to show them how to use the lesson plans and lead a cricket session. I had a little bit of time in the classroom first just to show them the website and then we just went out and practiced  a lesson with each other. It really was like a morale boost, a team building type of session.

“When I was peeping into their PE lessons the next week, everyone was doing cricket. Everyone. Whether they were a Year 6 or Year 1 teacher. Everyone just did that lesson that I had showed them. The lesson plans make it so easy for teachers to tweak sessions so you keep all children moving and having fun – it shows you how to push the high achievers but also how to adapt games so everyone is learning.

Why aren’t more things like this for sports and PE? I can’t think of anything that is as good as Chance to Shine.

“Cricket isn’t just for the fastest, strongest or ‘sporty’ child. It’s a great team sport which is accessible for everyone. Children learn quickly from the skills and drills and can easily transfer these into matches. We’ve seen children who haven’t previously attended sports clubs regularly come to cricket practice and as a direct result their confidence in all sporting activities improve.”

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