Cricket stars say G’Day to Brit National Cricket Day

England stars Kevin Pietersen, Charlotte Edwards and cricket broadcaster Mark Nicholas went back to school yesterday (18 June) to celebrate Chance to Shine’s Brit National Cricket Day. The trio visited Sacred Heart School in Battersea, South London, which transformed itself into an Australian paradise for the day.

All three took part in a special school assembly where the children learnt about cricket and the importance of teamwork and respect. Kevin and Charlotte took part in a bowl out with the children and pupil, Malik Feika, 10, stunned the school as he emerged victorious against the England stars.

Kevin, Charlotte and Mark then took some time to visit classes around the school who were involved in some unusual Australian and cricket themed lessons. Kevin spent time learning the Didgeridoo with the children, cooking some Aussie Lamb burgers with a class and helping to coach the school cricket team. Charlotte dropped into a class who were making a massive aboriginal cricket art work and Mark Nicholas took part in a cricketing Q&A with another lucky group of children.

Talking about the day Kevin said, “It’s been a brilliant day and the kids have absolutely loved it. I think cricket is such an important game for teaching children teamwork and respect and that’s why it’s been great to visit the school and support Chance to Shine.

The event was one of six flagship media events taking place across the country to celebrate Chance to Shine’s national celebration of cricket in schools. This year the event was Australian themed to celebrate an Ashes year. Hundreds of schools got involved in Brit National Cricket Day, through their local County Board, and today were taking part in cricket-themed lessons in class, coaching in the playground, competitions at local cricket clubs and beach cricket festivals.

A variety of players also lent their support to the day. England and Sussex star Matt Prior, and England women’s cricketer Lydia Greenway, joint children at Yellowave Sports Venue in Brighton for a beach cricket tournament. Other cricketers including Phil Mustard, Danielle Hazell, Jim Troughton, and Jenny Gunn helped school children up and down the country enjoy the day.

Chance to Shine is keeping cricket alive in state schools. It is the biggest grass-roots sport development programmes ever undertaken in Britain. It was launched in 2005 by Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King to reverse the decline of cricket in state schools and has now brought cricket to two million schoolchildren.

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