Spreading the Power of Cricket is a year round job, despite what you might think! Through funding provided by cricket charity 'Chance to Shine', Kent Cricket Community Coaches have been working tirelessly across Terms 1, 2 and 3 to generate interest in the sport across Key Stage 1.
The 'Roadshow' programme that is delivered through Chance to Shine is split into two parts. Part 1 is a visit during the autumn terms, to introduce classes to the basics of Rapid Fire and the Spirit of Cricket. Teachers are left with kit and rules to follow in order to practice ahead of an indoor inter-school competition in January. The second part see's the coach return in Term 4 to promote All Stars Cricket, encouraging the newly converted cricket fans to sign up to their local cricket club.
In Ashford the indoor event was hosted by the local leisure centre in their double sports hall, meaning four games could take place simultaneously. Capped at 16 teams, the event was fully subscribed, with a waiting list.
Victoria Road School in Ashford entered Rapid Fire for the first time after receiving Chance to Shine coaching. Teacher, Miss Wood from the school said "We loved it! a super simple game that kept all children actively involved... Even when we had spare time, we found other schools to play extra games!"
Matthew Fagg, Community Cricket Officer for Kent Cricket was involved with the pilot programme of Rapid Fire three years previously and ran the Ashford event this year. Speaking about the success of the format Matt stated, "With a known shortage of competitions within Key Stage 1 it is fantastic to see the younger year groups out in the community, representing their schools... needing to cap entries due to the venue capacity is a brilliant problem to have."
The mirror event hosted out of The County Ground, Beckenham saw teams invited to the still sparklingly new Kent Cricket indoor training centre. The day started with a Spirit of Cricket assembly experience, followed by a giant group warm up before the rounds of Rapid Fire began. Teachers were also tasked to keep their eyes peeled for any 'Magic Moments', which they shared in the closing ceremony. Each children mentioned in a Magic Moment won a Chance to Shine medal.