The national children's cricket charity Chance to Shine has announced that it has delivered coaching to its five millionth child.
Nine-year-old Yunis Omar, who attends Percy Shurmer Academy in Birmingham, became the initiative's five millionth participant when he received a Chance to Shine session before the COVID-19 lockdown was introduced.
The landmark comes as the charity celebrates 15 years of spreading the power of cricket throughtout schools and communities.
“When I play cricket, I feel like there’s a crowd watching me! I feel amazing" said Yunis.
"What I like about cricket is the teamwork because if you don’t have any teamwork then you’ll never succeed.”
As well as reaching five million children and young people, the organisation has also delivered coaching in more than 16,000 schools across England and Wales and runs over 200 Chance to Shine Street cricket projects in urban and disadvantaged communities.
“We’re thrilled to be celebrating our 15th birthday and it’s a great opportunity to tell the world about our 5 millionth participant," said chief executive Laura Cordingley.
"It’s a fantastic milestone, and to hear about the enjoyment that Yunis and his classmates got from their cricket sessions was wonderful and is a shining example of what cricket can do for young people.
“Whilst the COVID-19 lockdown has halted our direct delivery in schools and communities, it has given us a chance to reflect upon everything we’ve achieved in the last 15 years.
"We’re immensely proud of the positive impact that our programmes have had on children and young people across the country."
Laura Cordingley, Chance to Shine Chief Executive
"We’re immensely proud of the positive impact that our programmes have had on children and young people across the country. The last eight weeks have demonstrated the importance of our work in keeping young people active and supporting their mental and social wellbeing.
“I’d particularly like to thank the ECB and Sport England as well as the corporate partners, trusts, foundations and individual donors who have supported the charity over the years.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 national lockdown, the charity has focussed its efforts on supporting teachers and parents to keep children active through digital cricket sessions, made available every week, that can be used in the home, with limited space and equipment.
The charity is supported by key funding partners the England & Wales Cricket Board, Sport England, NatWest and Yorkshire Tea. All of whom have continued to support the charity during the current difficult circumstances.
Find out more at chancetoshine.org.