Michael Vaughan goes back to his old school and gets a lesson at the crease

Former England and Yorkshire cricketer turned ballroom dancer Michael Vaughan returned to his old Sheffield secondary, Silverdale, this week (27 February) to inspire young cricketers to follow in his footsteps.

Silverdale is part of Chance to Shine and the Cricket Foundation charity works closely with the Yorkshire Cricket Board to link cricket clubs to schools to help keep the game alive in the state sector.

Michael took part in a coaching session for Year 10 girls including batting against a bowling machine and diving catches onto crash mats. The Silverdale girls team showed the Ashes winning skipper their impressive catching and batting skills. They will be representing the school in a North of England cricket tournament final in a few weeks; a far cry from when Michael was at Silverdale where he recalls hardly a single girl playing cricket.

Pupils also gave Michael some cycling tips ahead of his charity bike ride this September in aid of Chance to Shine and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Michael will be leading a peloton of fundraisers nearly 500 miles across the country, following the England v Australia NatWest One Day series; starting at Headingley on 6 September.

Michael is looking for 50 cyclists to join him and other celebrities including British gymnast Louis Smith, ex England spinner Phil Tufnell and Olympic champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton on the first leg to Old Trafford.

Speaking at Silverdale, Michael said, “I came through the drive, pulled in and realised I was parking on my old cricket pitch! The facilities are fantastic for the kids and it’s really good to see so much enthusiasm for the game of cricket.”

“Chance to Shine has done a very good job in state schools in Sheffield, especially here in Silverdale. It’s really nice to see the girls participating in a sport which generally 10 or 15 years ago they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so.

He added that he hoped cricket fans would support his charity bike ride: “It’s a great opportunity for people to get involved and watch the cricket there’s nothing bigger than England v Australia and to raise money for two fantastic charities.”

Year 10 pupil Sophie Gleadstone, 15, described why she loves cricket and meeting an England legend: “I started playing cricket in Year 8. We played with the Under 15s and have taken part in regular competitions since then, winning a couple of trophies. It’s fun and I enjoy playing cricket with my friends. It’s so cool to know that a former England captain went to my school.

Silverdale PE teacher, Paul Bradshaw added: “The visit by Michael was awesome. He has a wonderful knack of making the children and teachers feel like the celebrities, not him. The children were in awe of meeting a former England legend and Strictly Come Dancing star and will be inspired by the visit.”

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