Peckham Primary School celebrate Black History Month with Chris Jordan and Alex Tudor

England cricketers past and present surprised a Primary School in Peckham on Wednesday 21 October, as Chris Jordan and Alex Tudor helped national cricket charity Chance to Shine celebrate Black History Month. The pair joined the class at Camelot Primary School via Zoom to talk to the children about growing up and their experiences in cricket. 

Jordan, who is currently playing for the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, also spoke to the children about the pride he feels representing England as Black man and how important it is for children to have role models that reflect the diverse nature of the country. The children took the opportunity to put their own questions to both men, asking them about their own role models and what they enjoy most about playing cricket. 

To support schools celebrating Black History Month, Chance to Shine have developed a series of resources for Primary and Secondary schools to help children learn about some of the amazing Black players who have represented England including Jofra Archer, Ebony Rainford-Brent and Roland Butcher. The charity has also produced an active session that aims to support the pupils in developing their cricketing skills whilst consolidating classroom learning about the importance of diversity in cricket and in life. 

The resources have been supported by Charity Partner NatWest, who have worked with Chance to Shine over several years to support bringing the game to a wider and more diverse audience. Sky Sports, long-term broadcast partner of the game, has also supported in the development of resources for the classroom. 

Chance to Shine is also committing to create more opportunities in communities where a high proportion of children are from Black backgrounds, in order to ensure that the sport is providing equal access to people from all ethnicities. 

Chance to Shine will be consulting with partners and looking to source funding for a new approach that will focus on increasing the number of children from Black backgrounds who play cricket. The charity has always worked closely with its delivery partners to highlight the importance of ensuring that the charity’s work is benefitting children from all backgrounds equally and will continue to do so. 

After speaking to the children, Chris Jordan said: “It was great to meet the children virtually and to talk to them about my own experiences and to inspire them to achieve their goals in life. Black History Month is an important opportunity for the kids to learn about some of the great Black cricketers and to show them role models who represent them. When they’re growing up, children need to believe that they can achieve anything in life and seeing people who look like them or are from similar backgrounds is crucial to that. Cricket is a sport where its strength lies in diversity of skills, talent and experience and I hope that all children can learn about this throughout Black History Month.” 

Year Four teacher at Camelot Primary School, Isabelle Arif, said: “This has been an amazing chance for our pupils to meet a fantastic role model in Chris Jordan. Chris has inspired the children not only to play more cricket but also to achieve their full potential. The majority of the pupils come from Black backgrounds and to see someone like Chris who has reached the top of his field and is representing England shares an important message that these children can do anything that they set their mind to. The Chance to Shine resources have been so helpful in supporting our pupils to learn about the great Black cricketing heroes and I hope will encourage them to follow in their footsteps.” 

Hammed, aged eight, said: “I really enjoyed the question time with Chris Jordan, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I felt so happy to speak to Chris and Alex, they progressed through and if we want to be a cricketer then we can be too. We learnt from them that we should never give up.”

Chief Executive at Chance to Shine, Laura Cordingley, said: “Like many others in organisations across the world, we have been assessing how our work creates equal access for people from all backgrounds and ethnicities. We are committed to giving every child the opportunity to play cricket and, from that, access all the incredible benefits the game can bring to their physical, mental and social wellbeing. As a charity we’re tremendously proud of the work we have done over the last 15 years, but we are always striving to do better. We will be working extremely hard to find funding and then to build a comprehensive plan that will help to bring the game to children who may not have had that opportunity in the past.” 

Chance to Shine’s Charity Partner NatWest have championed diversity and inclusion in cricket and are committed to raising aspirations for children across the country. Find out more about cricket’s Black History Month at www.chancetoshine.org/bhm 

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