FORMER Sussex County Cricket Club ladies captain Alexia Walker left the crease for the classroom to launch a special coaching scheme for primary school children.
She visited Eastbrook Primary Academy last Wednesday to launch the Chance2Shine initative between Southwick Cricket Club and the Sussex Cricket Board.
The Chance2Shine Project is a programme of coaching set up by the Cricket Foundation to introduce competitive cricket into state schools.
Walker said: “Having started my cricket career through primary school cricket, I am a huge supporter of programmes like this, which offer great opportunities to introduce young people to cricket.
“Chance2Shine also shows that cricket is a game for girls as well as boys and Southwick Cricket Club already has girls in its colts’ sides.”
ECB and Southwick CC coach Richard Davies, who is running the coaching, said: “We are really grateful to the Eastbrook Primary Academy and to Sussex Cricket Board for their enormous support in getting this scheme off the ground and, from the response so far, it is clear the children are really enjoying themselves.”
Eastbrook Primary Academy headteacher Julia Sherlock, who grew up in a cricketing family, stressed the social value of the sport in building a sense of team spirit, not just for the players but for the whole family.
Southwick CC are keen to introduce the scheme to other primary schools in the area, as part of a longer-term strategy to grow the cricketing talent in the local community.
They already run cricket nets on a Friday evenings at Shoreham Academy and will be competing in the South Area Cricket League, with teams at under-ten, under-11 and under-12 age groups this summer.
Anyone interested in playing cricket for Southwick can contact Steve Carden on 07768 194944 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org