Schoolchildren take over Lord’s

Six hundred schoolchildren from around the UK joined Chris Tremlett and eight of the England women’s team, including captain Charlotte Edwards, at Lord’s on Tuesday (20 May) for the second MCC Spirit of Cricket open day.

Lord’s was transformed for the day for the 20 schools present, with the real tennis court used for tape ball cricket and the Pavilion concourse – usually the preserve of MCC Members – transformed into a school assembly hall.

The day started with children taking over the famous Pavilion benches whilst former Hampshire captain Mark Nicholas delivered a special MCC Spirit of Cricket assembly. As part of the assembly, a bowl out ended with Charlotte’s team beating Chris and his side. MCC President and Chance to Shine ambassador Mike Gatting was also present.

The primary school children also enjoyed the chance to play cricket on the outfield at the ‘Home of Cricket’, as well as taking part in kitchen classes and cricketing skills lessons.

Eight members of the England women’s team, Tammy Beaumont, Kate Cross, Charlotte Edwards, Lydia Greenway, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Heather Knight and Lauren Winfield, were on hand to help coach the children as part of their work as Chance to Shine Coaching Ambassadors.

Talking about the day, William Lowdon, pupil at Holy Trinity Catholic Primary and Nursery School, Nottinghamshire, said,[It’s been] amazing, really fun. The coaches have been very nice, they’ve given us lots of advice for playing cricket in the future, so that’s really helpful. And the pitch here is so soft!

Amelia Atkinson, 10, added, “It’s been really fun. I’ve never been to London before!”

Mrs Kelly Shepherd, teaching assistant at St Mary and St John Church of England Primary School, Oxford, said, “It’s been wonderful. They’ve really enjoyed it. The kids were [very excited about coming down]…there was a mad rush to get their names on the list! It’s a dream come true [for them].”

In 2014, over 400,000 children in 5,500 Chance to Shine schools will be introduced to the key MCC Spirit of Cricket messages enshrined in the laws of the game, as a result of the MCC/Chance to Shine partnership.

There are three core elements to the partnership: communicating the MCC Spirit of Cricket message to children within schools through special assemblies and lessons, organising intra-school competitions and holding an MCC Spirit of Cricket Open Day at Lord’s.

Meanwhile, Chance to Shine coaches will deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket message as part of its core programme.

MCC and Chance to Shine have also produced special MCC Spirit of Cricket online DVD resource for school assemblies that cover key aspects of the MCC Spirit of Cricket.

Children are then encouraged to put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom, with pupils’ fair play recognised and rewarded at the school sessions.

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