BLUE COATS BRING SPLASH OF COLOUR TO MIDWINTER

CREATIVE youngsters from Blue Coat Primary School, Chester, , brought a splash of colour to the bleak mid-winter with some inspirational cricket-themed artwork.
The talented year four pupils swapped their bats and balls for pencils and paintbrushes to produce a series of pictures about the Chance to Shine 'coaching in schools' scheme.

Owen Williamson, Development and Coaching Officer for Chester, has been working closely with Blue Coat PS thanks to support from one of Cheshire Cricket Board's key funding partners, the Cricket Foundation.
Owen (pictured) explained: "The weather changed one Monday afternoon and with no use of a sports hall I decided to run a class assembly focussing on the Laws of the game.
"This included things like umpiring signals, the basics of scoring and how the pitch and field placings might look in a proper game of cricket.
"The children were really engaged and were asking questions throughout. I concluded with a 'pop quiz' and challenged the children to remember what they had learned, with some Chance to Shine stickers to hand out as prizes."
Such was the level of enthusiasm from the class, Owen decided to set the children one further challenge before he returned for his coaching session the following week.

He said: "I thought I would set them a homework task in which each child had to design a poster incorporating some of the topics we spoke about in the class assembly.
"They were also allowed to include coaching points and activities from the practical coaching sessions that we had done on the playground in the previous weeks.
"I have to admit, the response was excellent and there were some very good drawings and pictures. What impressed me the most was how much the children had taken on board in the short time we had been working together."

Owen is rapidly building an excellent reputation among primary and secondary schools in the Chester area following a recent staff reshuffle at the Cheshire Cricket Board.
And with schools like Blue Coat PS involved in the Chance to Shine scheme, Owen is confident that the profile of cricket will continue to build in the district.
He said: "Blue Coats have been a big supporter of Chance to Shine and both the staff and pupils are really enthusiastic about being involved.
"By the end of 2013 I will have worked with all four year groups, giving every child in the school the opportunity to experience cricket.
"With the support of the head teacher, Mr O'Brien, we will also be running an after-school club for those children who really want to pursue their passion."
Mr O'Brien added: "Owen always delivers a quality service for our children, making cricket both exciting and accessible to all.
"He is an excellent role model and handles groups with skill, as well as adapting to all situations. This is a great way to get children involved and motivated to watch and play cricket."

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