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8 Nov

Chance to Shine Street...told in the style of David Bowie

YCF, as part of our participation theme, have been working with a range of different community groups and have upskilled several coaches as well as opening up connections with Chance to Chine, to enable them to get street funding.

We asked coach Clare, who YCF put through her cricket coaching qualifications, to provide a summary of how her Chance to Shine Street sessions, which began on 8th September, were going. The purpose of the sessions are to increase girls engagement in cricket across Harehills, Leeds, due to a demand in the community to host an all-girls group.

Clare being Clare, she responded in a very unique way…

When I started to think of a theme for this case study a few key thoughts came to mind…. So I have written it with David Bowie songs in mind.

ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS

Firstly about me. I am brand new to coaching – so I am learning on the job, whilst following my true passion in life, which is cricket. Previously I have volunteered with Cricket Without Boundaries in Uganda twice but other than that my cricket experience is purely as a spectator—an avid spectator and Yorkshire member – but not a player.

So I started working with this group of girls in Harehills, Leeds, in early September 2018. The focus is on working with girls from South Asian Communities and the Harehills area has a high population of people from this region. The girls are aged from 6 up to 16 years. They are learning key skills and having fun together. During the summer we practised in the MUGA, and now it is colder and darker we are in the Hall of Harehills Primary School. All had heard of cricket, some had seen cricket and others had played a little: and that is the extent of their experience. It is fair to say we are Absolute Beginners.

Prior to these sessions, the girls were not involved in any out-of-school sporting activities – so getting them running around together and having fun are 2 of my key objectives, which I have definitely achieved.

CHANGES

Each session starts with a recap from the previous week – I ask them what we had learned in the preceding session to test their knowledge and draw out their thoughts about why that particular skill is important in the game and when and how we use it. This really gets them thinking about cricket in its widest sense.

Week by week, the girls have improved in confidence and ability. Warm up sessions feature the previous week’s core skill so that these are revisited – and to allow their game knowledge and awareness to grow.

HUNKY DORY

Since the start we have used pairs cricket for our game-based practice but in the earliest games, I would bowl to allow the girls to focus on their batting skills and to keep the pace of the game moving. Once we had covered bowling, the girls have begun to bowl and are showing some real promise.

At the end of session 5, I introduced the Chance to Shine Street rules. And we played our first really competitive game based on these.That was our best session to date. By the end the girls were engaged, enthused, energetic and smiling from ear to ear.
To give the girls some ownership we sat together during our cool down and came up with club rules and the girls also brought their ideas for a club name which has yet to be finalised!

HEROES

Whilst doing the club rules, I asked the girls if they would be interested in participating in competitions with other clubs. Well, to say they said ‘yes’ does not cover it. The excitement level in the room rocketed and there were questions in abundance, about who, when, where, how we would do this. At the time I didn’t have the answers but I have now been in touch with another Chance to Shine Club in Bradford to arrange a competition. The girls are so up for this. We have a date booked for the 15th December and the Chance to Shine funding will support and enable us to take 2 teams of girls over to participate.

The unsung heroes are the team from the YCF, in particular, Kendal James who has supported me and advised me throughout the set up of the club and the sessions, allowing me to develop my coaching skills as I go along – indeed it was Kendal who secured the funding to set up the club and we are going from strength to strength..

Modern Love

Initially the girls seemed well out of their comfort zone. Being actively involved in a sport and being supported and encouraged to do so is quite different for them. At the end of session 5, I asked the girls how they felt at the end of their first game. This was there reaction…

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