Staff and pupils at a Faversham primary school are celebrating after receiving a national award for their cricketing enthusiasm.
Bysing Wood Primary School – a member of EKC Schools Trust - was selected by national cricket charity Chance to Shine as its ‘Primary School of the Year’, an award handed over at a luxurious ceremony at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The charitable organisation ran coaching sessions for Years 3 to 6 in the school, as well as mental wellbeing classes and games.
As part of the Chance to Shine programme, each year group had an extra 45-minute PE class on Fridays from June 2021. These sessions were run by Kent Cricket Community coach Jamie Harris and focused on developing a full range of cricket skills.
Sports leaders at Bysing Wood also had an extra session per week to strengthen their ability to run cricket activities for the rest of the school.
Bysing Wood Primary School’s Headteacher Andrew Harrison believes the training has had a hugely beneficial impact on those who took part. He said: “Our Chance to Shine coaching reminded everyone that being active benefits both physical and mental wellbeing.
“We also made use of an additional opportunity specifically about taking care of our mental health, which Chance to Shine made available to us.
“Everyone is immensely proud that what we do as a matter of course has been recognised at a national level. We don't feel that we deliberately did anything special other than make the most of what Chance to Shine offered by applying the enthusiasm of the children and staff.”
Meanwhile Kent Cricket Community coach Jamie Harris said: “I think that among the reasons for them winning the award is that everyone here has worked so hard and really taken to our training sessions.
“For many pupils it was their very first time playing cricket, and it’s incredibly obvious how much they now enjoy the sport.
“While we are promoting the sport, we also aim to introduce children to situations where they might win, lose or face a conflict of ideas during a game. These are present throughout life and through cricket, we can teach them how to handle such moments.
“We would like to thank Bysing Wood for taking the opportunity to not only get involved with the Chance to Shine project, but also for their enthusiasm throughout.”