Sights Set High

11-year-old Shae Liggett has been playing cricket since he was seven years old and is already setting his sights on representing a club and eventually playing professionally.

Before he got into cricket, Shae had never played sport before. It was through cricket that he managed to turn his life around. At seven years old, he was in with the wrong crowd. He set fire to a school field – the same school which he shortly moved to and the same school which introduced him to cricket for the first time, through Chance to Sine.

According to his teacher, James Watson, Shae is now a completely different person. James says: “He is a role model at school, representing us in cricket, tag rugby, athletics and football and regularly showing visitors around the school. He’s one of the fastest runners in London. He is bright, articulate and naturally talented, looking up to the likes of Alastair Cook and Anthony Joshua as role models.

“His challenging behaviour has turned around both inside and outside of school, over the last four years. The way in which cricket helps children to learn about respect and values, when it comes to shaking hands with opponents and accepting the umpire’s decision, has been key in Shae’s development both on and off the field.”

James continued: “Previously, Shae had no opportunities or role models outside of school. He didn’t realise what sport could bring him. He now goes to two after school cricket clubs a week, plays cricket during PE and is working towards joining one of the local clubs. He’s a natural talent and is one of the best players on his team. This kind of thing would have been unheard of four years ago. Chance to Shine has given Shae opportunities he couldn’t previously imagine, and it’s opened his eyes to what’s out there. The opportunity to play cricket shouldn’t ever be based on your postcode.”

Shae has made a lot of friends playing cricket and is fully supported by his family, who like how committed he is to cricket and how it’s got him active and involved in so many other sports. Shae speaks openly about how it’s changed his life, behaviour and attitude: “things now make more sense. Cricket has given me something to focus on and something to think about.”

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