Prime Minister praises ‘fantastic’ Chance to Shine

David Cameron used Chance to Shine as an example of how sport can be used to inspire young people when he was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Test Match Special on 19 August.

“I think sport can play a huge role…cricket’s a good example, Chance to Shine has been a fantastic programme” he commented.

The Prime Minister spoke enthusiastically about how sport can help young people in the light of the riots witnessed in UK earlier this month. He said, “…there’s the whole question of role models, people can see sports people who have made something of themselves and achieve great things and they can be fantastic role models for helping to change and address people’s behaviour. So for all these reasons, I’m very keen that the Government helps sports organisations to promote themselves.”

Is cricket trying to touch the lives of more young people every year? Yes it is and whether it’s a charity, or whether it’s an arm of government or whether it’s an independent body, that doesn’t matter. What matters is, is it good? Is it getting to people, is it enthusing people? I think getting more competitive sport in schools is vital… making sure sport is an important part of the curriculum and what school is all about.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also applauded the work of Chance to Shine in a comment piece for the Daily Telegraph on 22 August and urged readers to make a donation.

Under the heading ‘Youngsters in the inner cities need rules and role models and sport can provide both’, he wrote: “there are all sorts of ways of teaching young people self-discipline and respect for rules, not least competitive sport and especially cricket, where one wild swipe is usually punished with ignominy.

If you want to spread the benefits of cricket to inner-city kids, can I suggest that you support the excellent charity, Chance to Shine, which for only £15 a head will give cricket lessons to young people who would otherwise never dream of even trying the game.

Cricket may be a small part of the answer. But it is not to be despised: you are more likely to give young people boundaries if you teach them to score them. And unless we expand inner-city cricket, the gulf will widen between two nations and the one that has the chance to play cricket, and one that doesn’t even know England is winning.

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