YOUNG cricketers from Bleak Hill Primary School dazzled organisers of a national competition at the world famous Lord’s ground.
The school was representing Lancashire Cricket Board in the Chance to Shine Two Millionth Child Celebration Cricket Tournament. After winning their first three games the Bleak Hill side made the final where they were narrowly beaten.
Bleak Hill was selected to take part after embracing the Chance to Shine Programme within the school and winning the County Year 6 Finals last year.
During the day the children also got to meet current England cricket stars Steven Finn and Graham Swann. The day was rounded off with a tour of Lord’s, including the media centre, and a reception in the Nursery Pavilion - where they met Governor of the Bank of England and President of Chance to Shine Sir Mervyn King and Channel Five cricket presenter Mark Nicholas who, along with Duncan Fearnley, launched the Chance to Shine Campaign eight years ago.
Simon Rossiter, events manager at Cricket Foundation, praised the Bleak Hill children.
He said: “The attitude, enthusiasm and behaviour the children showed on the day was fantastic and a great credit to the school. I hope the school will continue to support Chance to Shine.”
Chris Chambers, LCB Cricket Development Coordinator for St Helens added: “The children were a credit to the school, St Helens and the Lancashire Cricket Board. They performed really well and this experience is one they will never forget.”
The experience capped an impressive few years for Bleak Hill pupils who have competed, in various sports, at Twickenham, The Emirates and now Lord’s. It also underlines the progress made by cricket – and cricket coaching - in the borough.
As well as this year’s Chance to Shine programme, which attracted 19 primary and four secondary schools from St Helens, primary schools now take part in year five and six tournaments, while secondary schools compete in indoor and outdoor tournaments at under 13 and under 15 levels.
Boys and girls teams represent the borough in district cricket at under 11, under 13 and under 15 levels. This year an additional eight week coaching development session was delivered, with over 40 youngsters receiving elite level coaching during the winter months.