Independent study shows positive experience of cricket with Chance to Shine

Chance to Shine takes cricket to schools and communities where cost is a barrier for some children to try the sport. Last year, 604,000 children played cricket through Chance to Shine in 4,200 schools and 300 community Street clubs. Of this, we worked in 1,700 primary schools where a high proportion of pupils are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) – from isolated rural areas to coastal towns and urban areas with no green space. 

Academics from Canterbury Christ Church University carried out an independent evaluation of Chance to Shine in 300 primary schools where 40-80% of pupils are eligible for FSM. Read a summary of the key findings here.  

Their Key Findings 

  • 1 in 10 children in schools with a high proportion of pupils eligible for FSM had played cricket outside of school before.  
  • 58% had played cricket in school before Chance to Shine.   
  • Children had a positive experience with Chance to Shine – they had fun and felt included.  

Despite starting with less experience of cricket, the feedback of pupils in schools where the proportion of pupils eligible for FSM is 40-80% mirrored that of schools where the proportion of pupils eligible for FSM was lower. For example, 93% of children in schools with a very high proportion of pupils eligible for FSM agreed ‘I had fun’ vs 93% of children in other schools.  

This trend was also seen in positive answers to the following statements respectively:

% of children who agree:Schools with very High FSMOther schools
‘I had fun’93%93%
‘I felt happy’93%92%
‘I felt included’90%91%
‘I felt confident’86%84%
‘My coach was kind’96%96%
‘My coach was fair’96%92%
‘My coach encouraged me to do my best’92%88%

Chance to Shine can help children develop positive attitudes towards sport and being active.   

Sport England research shows that children from less affluent backgrounds are less likely to be active, enjoy sport or feel confident playing. After six weeks of playing cricket with Chance to Shine, academics found a small but significant increase in children’s enjoyment of all sport and activity. Teachers in the study credited Chance to Shine coaches’ accessible and inclusive approaches.   

Chance to Shine can support children’s empathy, resilience, and capacity for learning.  

Chance to Shine sessions are designed to help children develop cricket skills alongside life skills. Over six weeks, academics found a significant increase in children’s empathy for others (e.g. those who agreed ‘I like to listen to others’). For boys, they found significant increases in their perceived resilience and capacity for learning (e.g. those who agreed ‘I try again if I don’t get something right first time’ and ‘I can learn new things’).    

More children now like cricket, think it’s fun and that they are good at playing it.  

After six weeks of Chance to Shine, children’s attitudes towards cricket changed – 90% agreed ‘cricket is fun’ vs 76% at the start, and 88% agreed ‘I like cricket’ vs 61% at the start. This mirrors the feedback of children where the proportion of pupils eligible for FSM was lower (90% also agreed ‘cricket in fun’).   

More children in schools with a very high proportion of pupils eligible for FSM finished Chance to Shine, agreeing ‘I feel confident playing cricket’ and ‘I am good at playing cricket’ than children in other schools.    

% children who agree   

‘I am good at playing cricket’  

% children who agree   

‘I feel confident playing cricket’  

Schools with very high FSM  71% now vs 44% before CTS  78% now vs 54% before CTS  
Other schools  64% vs 49%  71% vs 61%  

Providing affordable opportunities for children to continue playing cricket outside of school is key

We know that providing opportunities for children to continue playing cricket outside of school is key. Only 43% of teachers felt there were accessible cricket opportunities for their pupils outside school. Key barriers cited by teachers are cost and the perceptions of cricket by parents. We are committed to growing our free, weekly Street cricket clubs in areas without a traditional club for children to join. 

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