Cricket has a positive spin-off for pupils at Ty-Sign Primary

Glamorgan and former England spin maestro Robert Croft went back to school last Tuesday (10 July) to teach pupils from Ty-Sign Primary in Risca how to ‘play hard, but play fair’.

The player is an ambassador for the schools cricket charity ‘Chance to Shine supported by Brit Insurance’ which is bringing cricket back to state schools like Ty-Sign and educating children through cricket.

Chance to Shine has joined forces with the Marylebone Cricket Club, the owner of Lord’s Cricket Ground, to teach thousands of children good sportsmanship. Croft took part in a special ‘MCC Spirit of Cricket’ assembly led by Cricket Wales community coach Alistair Waldron. Pupils enjoyed a video showing exciting cricket clips with a Jessie J backing track. This was followed by a ‘bowl-off’ where pupils took turns to hit the stumps and at the same time learn how to respect team mates, the opposition and the umpire.

After the assembly, a class of Year 5 pupils took part in a Q&A session with Robert Croft who explained how cricket had helped him in life, before he helped take a cricket coaching session with the coach in the school playground.

Speaking at the event, Chance to Shine ambassador Robert Croft said, “The MCC Spirit of Cricket campaign is teaching children how to play sport, how to deal with success and failure and making them more rounded individuals. I’ve always believed that sport is a huge learning process, not just for playing sport but how you attack the rest of your life.”

Ty-Sign pupils also spoke enthusiastically about the MCC assembly and the player’s visit.

Lennon, 10, who took part in the both activities, said, “It’s been an amazing opportunity for me and the class; we were so lucky. It’s been stunning having Robert Croft here and showing us what we could achieve one day. I just can’t put in words how good today has been.”

His classmate, Megan, 10 added, “I think it’s good that girls play cricket as people usually think of it as a boys’ sport, but it’s really not. We can learn a lot of stuff from cricket like team work and that boys and girls working together is good. I think the MCC Spirit of Cricket video was really inspiring.”

Summing up the special end of term event, Ty-Sign Primary Headteacher, Alison Dacey, said, “Visits from sportsmen like Robert Croft broadens children’s horizons. It can raise their aspirations as well, which we’re all about in an area like this. They can put their heads above the wall and see what’s over the other side and someone like Robert Croft can show them what they can show them what they can achieve.”

Chance to Shine is bringing cricket to thousands of pupils every year by linking clubs to local schools. It has reached nearly 1.5 children in 4,000 state schools. The charity needs to raise £5million every year to keep the ambitious programme running and just £15 will pay for one child to enjoy a year’s cricket coaching.

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