Morgan sweeps kids off their feet

England and Middlesex cricketer, Eoin Morgan, joined schoolchildren at Gateway Academy in North London yesterday (15 May) to officially launch Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week.

Pupils at Gateway Academy enjoyed a cricket session in the playground with the England star who gave the children a master class on how to play the reverse sweep.

During 2-6 June, thousands of schools will get involved in Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week. The week will have an Asian theme to celebrate the upcoming England series against Sri Lanka and India. Schools across the country are planning cricket-themed lessons in class, coaching in the playground, competitions at local cricket clubs and activities to give children an insight into Indian and Sri Lankan culture and history.

To finish the day the Gateway Pupils took part in a special Q&A session with the England star. The children asked Eoin questions ranging from his favourite shot, his greatest win and even whether he was afraid of Mitchell Johnson. Morgan’s response was that whilst Johnson was fast he hadn’t “lost any sleep over him”.

Reflecting on the day, Eoin Morgan said, “it’s been great to work with children who might not otherwise have had the chance to play cricket. Chance to Shine has been working so hard on this over the last nine years and it’s great to see the kids running around today with so much energy and enjoyment for cricket.”

Eoin commented on the importance of Chance to Shine saying, “Children often have no opportunity to play cricket and I think sport is vital for kids. I grew up playing cricket and I’ll be forever indebted to it. It’s a family sport and it always keeps you grounded. I’ve only had good experiences from it”.

He also had a message for schools that haven’t yet signed up for Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week: “I’d tell schools to get involved straight away! It’s a huge incentive to see kids enjoying sport, making friends and perhaps going on to clubs. It creates an opportunity for kids to enjoy this great game. Get involved as soon as possible”.

Talking about the visit, Natasha Hilmi, PE Co-ordinator at Gateway Academy said, “The children have been introduced to cricket through Chance to Shine and having Eoin Morgan in the school has been incredibly inspiring for them”.

“The fact that he told them that hard work and determination helped him get to where he is now and the fact that he started at their age means that they now see cricket as being accessible to them”.

Natasha also commented on their plans for Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week: “We are going to Lord’s on Tuesday with Chance to Shine and MCC which should be great fun. During the week we will be running cricket competitions throughout the school”.

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