COMPETITIVE cricket is firmly on the front foot in the Cheshire village of Kingsley thanks to the growing influence of Chance to Shine.

Staff and pupils at Kingsley’s two primary schools have been so impressed with the Brit Insurance-backed coaching programme that they are desperate to be involved in the scheme again in 2013.

Janet Dearden, senior teacher at Kingsley St John’s School, was unsure about Chance to Shine initially but was quickly won over by the “fantastic” coaching delivered by Cheshire Cricket Board Development Officer Mark Greaves.

“The children have loved every minute of their time with you and the cricket,” she said.

“I usually have children forgetting their kit when it is sport but I can honestly say each and every one of them has looked forward to and enjoyed your sessions.

“When you first contacted me and talked about Chance to shine and the cricket I was not sure because of the time of year with Sats etc, but it has been fantastic.

“You really did shine and gave my class their time to shine – thank you.”

Children at Kingsley St John’s were given the task of writing a letter to someone who had visited the school and impressed them, and Mark was singled out for special praise.

Year six pupil Jessica said: “I never thought I could do cricket but Mark has really helped me and I am quite good now.”

“I never liked cricket and would never have thought of playing it but it has been real fun and I have enjoyed it,” said Orla in year five.

Her classmate Toby added: “I think Mark and the cricket are great. Can we keep playing cricket it is so much fun!”

Down the road at Kingsley Community School, teacher Helen Cottrell was equally impressed with Mark’s work and the ethos behind the whole Chance to Shine programme.

She said: “Chance to Shine has been a superb opportunity to promote activity and enjoyment  through cricket. 

“The quality of the coaching provided has been of an exceptionally high standard, and as a result the children have benefitted in a range of ways.

“The improvement in skill development has been rapid, staff and children have developed a deeper  understanding of the game,  and most of all, the children have had great fun.

“As a result of the programme, several children have expressed an interest in joining local clubs.  Thanks very much to Mark Greaves for leading such informative and entertaining sessions.

She added: “Please, please come back next year.”

ECB Level Three coach Mark Greaves is the Board’s Development and Coaching Officer for Mid-Cheshire, delivering a quality year-round programme to schools, clubs and community groups.