30 Jul

Chance to Shine is helping a growing number of teenage girls to take part in sport and develop leadership qualities, new research shows.

The charity, which aims to spread the power of cricket throughout schools and communities, reports that the number of girls who say they are active every day after taking part in Chance to Shine's Secondary School Girls Programme has risen from 34 per cent to 40 per cent.

The programme worked with 1,700 specifically trained 'Young Leaders', with a further 2,200 girls taking part in after-school clubs in over 100 state schools across the country.

According to research conducted by the Centre for Sport, Physical Education & Activity Research (spear) at Canterbury Christ Church University, 78 per cent of those who took part in the programme said that they 'wanted to play more cricket than before'.

The research - commissioned by Chance to Shine and NatWest - also showed statistically significant growth in the key leadership traits such as confidence, resilience, creativity and adaptability.

Laura Cordingley, Chief Executive at Chance to Shine, said: "At Chance to Shine we have seen how the power of cricket can support young people to develop the skills that will benefit them throughout their life.

"The core leadership principles that you can learn, like dealing with setbacks, adapting to changing situations and problem-solving, will all stand girls in good stead through their professional lives.

"The key is to get girls interested in playing sport and this research shows that our programme has not only got more girls active but it has helped them to understand and see the benefits of playing sport."

Charlotte Edwards, who was England Captain for 15 years and is now Head Coach of the Southern Vipers having previously been the Director of Women's Cricket at Hampshire, said: "From a young age I was passionate about playing sport and as I grew throughout my career, I took on more responsibility and learnt what it meant to be a leader.

"For me, it's about understanding your team's strengths and weaknesses, being able to deal with challenges and having the confidence to make decisions. I believe that's as applicable on the cricket pitch as it is walking into the boardroom.

"Chance to Shine are giving girls those life skills really early on and I think that it's vital that the programme continues and supports more girls to develop through playing the sport."

Like most charities, Chance to Shine has suffered from a lack of fundraising since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. For more information on how you could help, or on the programmes the charity runs, go to www.chancetoshine.org

John Stephenson


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