Cricket champions heralded at the Chance to Shine Awards

The Chance to Shine Awards moved online for the very time as the charity hosted its annual celebration last night (Thursday 26 November). Despite the Covid-19 pandemic forcing a shutdown of the charity’s programmes in March, the Awards recognised the positive impact that cricket has still had.

The event, hosted by BBC broadcaster Eleanor Oldroyd, saw awards handed out to the schools, coaches and young people who have continued to spread the power of cricket despite the challenges thrown up this year. England cricketers Fran Wilson and Mady Villiers joined the online event to add their support and acknowledgement of the stars of the grassroots of the game.

Winners included Faizah Hashmi, who received the Young Leader of the Year award. A passionate cricketer, 18-year-old Faizah has struggled with mental health issues throughout her teenage years. She has learnt to control and manage her mental health and credits the friendships and support network she built at her local Chance to Shine Street cricket project in Moseley with helping her through. She is now breaking the taboo of speaking about mental health challenges and is supporting the other girls who attend the project deal with their own personal or social difficulties. Faizah said “In the past, my illness defined me. [There was] a hole inside me and I couldn’t fill it. When I’m with my friends at cricket, it’s like that hole in me has been filled.”

Watch Faizah’s incredible story:

 

The evening was supported by NatWest and the first award of the night saw Andrew Morris, coach at Ropley Cricket Club in Hampshire, pick up the NatWest Lockdown Hero trophy for his efforts to support the young people he coaches during the pandemic. Andrew provided skills and drills to complete at home, regular online social events and focused particularly on supporting the mental wellbeing of everyone involved in the club.

St John Bosco Catholic Primary School (pictured left), in West Bromwich, picked up the Primary School of the Year Award. Teacher Craig Ellicott has been fundamental in building a culture of cricket within the school and supporting the pupils to learn a love of the game. Supported by the Staffordshire Cricket Team, the school have delivered coaching sessions for all year groups and have also brought cricket into the classroom, using themed lessons for literacy and numeracy.

Chance to Shine Chief Executive Laura Cordingley said “I’m incredibly of proud of all the winners and everyone who was nominated for an award tonight. Despite all the challenges that 2020 has thrown at us all, our winners are a shining example of how incredibly important and valuable cricket can be. Now, more than ever, supporting young people’s physical, mental and social wellbeing is absolutely paramount.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the ECB, Sport England and NatWest for their ongoing commitment to the charity, as well as to all our supporters, without whom our success would not be possible.”

2017 World Cup winner Fran Wilson said “It’s been a truly inspiring evening. Hearing the stories of all the winners tonight has reinforced how remarkable our sport is and the positive impact it can have beyond the elite game. I’m in absolute awe of what has been achieved, despite all the barriers this year.

“The work of Chance to Shine is so vital, not only to the game but to the wellbeing of so many young people across the country.”

Head of Sponsorship & Hospitality at NatWest Martyn Wilson commented:  “Once again, tonight has been a fantastic celebration – not only of the great work that Chance to Shine do year in year out, but also of the incredible efforts made by staff members and volunteers to ensure participation in cricket continues to grow, even during these unprecedented times.

It’s a shame we couldn’t celebrate in person tonight, however NatWest would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees of the 2020 Chance to Shine Awards.”

Full list of winners (click to watch their video):

NatWest Lockdown Hero Award – Andrew Morris

Primary School of the Year – St John Bosco Catholic Primary School, West Bromwich

County Board of the Year – Dorset Cricket Board

Schools Coach of the Year – James Reid, Kent

Street Coach of the Year – Shahid Ali

Project of the Year – Easton Street

Outstanding Contribution Award – Dave Reddy

Young Leader of the Year – Faizah Hashmi

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive emails about our latest news, appeals, events and volunteering opportunities.