Stars from grassroots cricket recognised at Chance to Shine Awards 2022

Stars from grassroots cricket were recognised for their inspirational work during an emotional evening at Lord’s on Thursday 24th November. 

The Chance to Shine Annual Awards celebrates those who have harnessed the inspirational power of cricket to improve the lives of young people.  

Winners on the night included Aston Youth Street Project in Birmingham, which was commended for its commitment to supporting the mental health of their participants, using cricket to tackle the toughest of subjects. 

Coach Siraj Ali said: “Our message is that cricket is for everyone. We instil in our young people that whatever background we are from, it does not define us as individuals. Instead, it motivates us to try hard and feel nothing is impossible”.

It was a strong night for those in the Midlands, with Samreen Begum from Warwickshire’s Bordesley Green Street Project picking up the Participant of the Year prize.

Samreen has overcome health issues and cultural barriers to become a strong role model for other girls in her area, playing a starring role in the Chance to Shine Street finals and working tirelessly to integrate girls from the local community into her sessions.

“A lot of Asian girls, they find it very difficult to overcome that cultural barrier. They’ve limited themselves just because of what everyone around them is saying,” she said.

“I just want to reach out to parents at this point, if your daughter is passionate about something and is giving it everything she’s got. I don’t think you should be restricting her because there’s so much more talent out there that she could show.” 

Other winners on the night included Berkshire picking up the County Board of the Year, a reward for their tireless efforts in connecting communities across their primary school, secondary school and street cricket programmes. 

National charity Chance to Shine has been working since 2005 to deliver cricket coaching sessions in state schools and disadvantaged communities. In that period the charity has reached more than six million young people, and currently delivers in around 5,000 state schools per year – as well as over 200 weekly Street cricket projects.  

“Our Awards are about celebrating what can be achieved when you put young people first, using cricket as way to help improve lives. We’re incredibly grateful to all the wonderful people who make that happen,” said Chance to Shine Chief Executive Laura Cordingley.

“I came away feeling incredibly inspired. The impact of this sport reaches far beyond the sports halls and playgrounds where our sessions are delivered and we’re determined to reach more young people than ever before over the next 12 months.”  

Full list of winners (Click to watch a video case study) 

Participant of the Year – Samreen Begum 

Community Cricket Award – Iftar at Edgbaston 

Project of the Year – Aston Youth Street Project 

Street Coach of the Year – Aamina Vhora 

Primary School of the Year – St Thomas’ Primary School 

Schools Coach of the Year – Claire Bailey 

Secondary School of the Year – Ponteland High School 

County Board of the Year – Berkshire Cricket Board 

Outstanding Achievement Award – Scott Chappell

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