Cricket coaches scores best run yet in Paralympic Torch Relay

Four cricket coaches represented Chance to Shine and StreetChance in the Paralympic Torch Relay today (29 August).

Denise O’Neil and Ray Tudor, who work for ‘Capital Kids Cricket’, deliver Chance to Shine sessions in Great Ormond Street and Evelina Hospitals joined Cricket for Change coaches Beth Evans and Alex Bassan, who deliver StreetChance sessions in London, carrying the Torch through Lambeth.

The insprational coaches were chosen for the relay in recognition of the work they do with disadvantaged and disabled children in London. Ray and Denise deliver weekly cricket sessions to disabled, seriously and sometimes terminally ill children at Great Ormond Street and Evelina hospitals through the Chance to Shine programme. They inspire children to take part in sport and tailor their programmes to allow disabled children to play the same games as their able bodied peers. They also encourage children on the same wards to work together during sessions and has achieved remarkable results.

Beth delivers StreetChance sessions for girls aged eight to 18 in Sutton and Croydon, using street cricket to engage young people living in inner-city areas affected by youth crime and anti-social behaviour.

Driving rain could not dampen the spirits of the coaches or the crowd of well-wishers who cheered them on their journey.

Speaking at the event, Ray commented, “I feel very humbled and honoured to have the opportunity to carry the Paralympic Torch. It means so much. After all the work that Denise and  have done with children at Great Ormond Street and Evelina Hospitals; this is really for them.”

Beth added, “I feel very proud to be representing StreetChance in such an exciting opportunity it’s a great project that shows young people they can do something great with their lives.”

Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation, Wasim Khan said: “We’re extremely proud to have our fantastic coaches carry the Paralympic torch and representing Chance to Shine and StreetChance at a time when all eyes are on London. The Olympic and Paralympic Games have been and will be incredibly important in increasing the number of young people who take up sporting activity and as an organisation, we feel very honoured to be a part of proceedings.”

A video of the Torch being lit can be viewed:

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