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Chance to Shine Street Project at Easton in Bristol was recognised with top award for giving young people a fun and accessible opportunity to make friends and learn new skills.

The Chance to Shine Awards moved online for the very first time as the charity hosted its annual celebration last week (Thursday 26th November). Despite the Covid-19 pandemic forcing a shutdown of the charity’s programmes in March, the Awards recognised the positive impact that cricket had during these challenging times.

The event, hosted by BBC broadcaster Eleanor Oldroyd, saw awards handed out to the schools, coaches and young people who have continued to spread the power of cricket despite the challenges thrown up this year. England cricketers Fran Wilson and Mady Villiers joined the online event to add their support and acknowledgement of the stars of the grassroots of the game.

During the virtual awards ceremony last week, the Gloucestershire Cricket Board were awarded Project of the Year.  The Easton Project has over 40 young cricketers aged 8-16 in two weekly sessions. They get the chance to play with siblings and parents, with free play encouraged before the session. The coaching staff has grown this year, allowing every participant to get quality coaching to improve their skills. Relationships with local council have seen young refugees signposted to this project as a safe space to play and develop their cricket, but also to learn key life skills and connect with the community.

Urban Development Officer Masoor Khan, who leads Gloucestershire’s Chance to Shine Street Cricket Programme, said…

We are all delighted and proud to be recognised in this way for our engagement in the community of Easton. A big thank you and well done to all the children and their parents, to the fantastic coaching team for their professionalism, enthusiasm and support, to City Academy Bristol for allowing us use of their facilities and to Chance to Shine who make projects like Easton possible. This is brilliant news and we will be celebrating at our next session!

In addition, Thomas Daniels-Harvey was shortlisted for Young Leader of the Year and Masoor was full of praise for his commitment to the project and desire to inspire young people to play the game…

Thomas, from our Shirehampton Project, is 14 and has shown initiative in volunteering to help younger players, welcoming new members and offering his own coaching tips – he is a natural young leader and will one day make a fantastic coach!

He wants to inspire people to play more, encouraging others to attend the local cricket club in addition to Street.  Coaches are excited to give Thomas more responsibility to support his development as a coach going forward.

The GCB would like to congratulate Masoor and his team of coaches who won Project of the Year.  The work you do is changing peoples lives and bringing positivity to the communities you work in, not just in Easton, but across the City of Bristol.  The recognition you have received through this award is fully deserved.

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