Chance to Shine is ‘essential’, says Notts captain

We talked to Nottinghamshire CCC’s Chris Read about fair play, who inspired him to play cricket and Notts’ title hopes:


What’s been happening today?

Today, I’ve been down at a primary school here in Clifton in one of the suburbs of Nottingham and we’ve been trying to put forward the MCC message of playing hard, but fair and how that message relates to sport and also through life. The children here are enjoying sport and enjoying cricket and I think that’s what we all want to see.


How important is it to teach children good sportsmanship at an early age?

I think it helps children to learn these lessons at an early age. In cricket we all need to respect the umpire, the opposition and each other, but it goes much deeper than that and sport can help promote that message far and wide in all walks of life.


What else can cricket teach you aside from good sportsmanship?

I certainly think there’s an element of discipline in cricket. To play at the top level, there’s a large amount of discipline that goes into your practice, to your training and to your game-play. I’ve had a fantastic time in the game: I’ve been abroad on many occasions, seen different countries cultures and it’ll stand me in good stead for later in life.


How did you get into cricket, who inspired you?

My dad. He’s sport mad. We lived a mile from the beach in Devon and there’s pictures of me playing cricket with him when I was three. By the time I was six he took me down to the local cricket club, I got involved in the county youth set up, under 11 age group, and it went on from there. However, my exposure to cricket at my state school was very limited. I remember playing a little bit of soft ball cricket in primary school and then a very small amount of cricket in secondary schools. The work that Chance to Shine programme is doing around the country is giving children far more opportunities to play cricket in state schools than I had.


As a father of a young lad, how important is to give children the opportunity to play cricket at school?

I think it’s essential. These children just wouldn’t have the opportunities to play cricket if something like Chance to Shine didn’t exist. Many of these children wouldn’t walk down to their local cricket club nor have parents that would take them down there; so the fact that they’re getting the opportunity in school time is essential for the development of the game.


What are your hopes for Nottinghamshire CCC this season?

We’ve got off to a cracking start and need to continue it. To use a cliche, we need to take it one game at a time. A lot of people asked me pre-season who the main challengers are and, realistically, I think any number of teams in Division 1 look capable of winning the Championship. We hope to be up there and in the mix at the end of the season, but it’s very early days yet. We’ve obviously having success playing in single figure degrees so when it gets a bit warmer hopefully we’ll continue that good start!


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