Former Sussex and England cricket legend Matt Prior and former England Women’s cricketer Lydia Greenway visited Shoreham Academy as part of Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week on Tuesday 20 June. Matt and Lydia, along with coaches from the Sussex Cricket Foundation, surprised the Year 7 & 8 pupils from the school and treated them to a day of cricket.
The morning started with Matt and Lydia giving the pupils a coaching masterclass. Matt gave the students some of his top batting tips, while Lydia showed them how to improve their fielding. Having played cricket at the very highest level, both were able to pass on their
valuable advice and experience to the schoolchildren.
Speaking at the event, Matt Prior said “This has been a great chance to get the students excited and engaged with cricket and to give them some advice that will hopefully stand them in good stead. The work that Chance to Shine, with the support of Yorkshire Tea, does is hugely important in giving pupils the opportunity to experience the game and to allow them to push on and develop their skills.”
Matt and Lydia then joined a classroom session focusing on cricket journalism. They talked the future writers through some of their favourite cricketing moments before receiving a grilling from the pupils. The students then put their new skills into practice, filming a short video report of their day.
Competitions & Education Projects Officer at Sussex Cricket Foundation, Gary Wallis-Tayler, said “It was a fantastic day and it was great to see both boys and girls of mixed abilities gain an insight in to professional cricket, from legends of the game. Not only the cricket skills but to also benefit from the non-playing side of sport was a great addition for the students and hopefully it will inspire them to continue their sporting journey through cricket.”
Lydia Greenway added “What a great day for some cricket! We’ve been doing some fielding drills and Matt was showing them some batting skills as well. It’s so important for children to enjoy their game and take on the values of cricket as well learning skills like teamwork and communication that will help them throughout their lives.”
Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week is an initiative to showcase the work of the national charity, Chance to Shine. The organisation aims to use the power of cricket to raise aspirations and provide young people across the country with the opportunity to play and learn through the sport.
To find out more go to www.chancetoshine.org.