Braunton Academy from North Devon were named Secondary School of the Year at the Chance to Shine Awards on Thursday 25 November.
The school were recognised for the way that they have embraced the opportunity to support teenage girls through cricket. Braunton Academy were recognised by national charity, Chance to Shine, during an awards evening hosted by BBC’s Aatif Nawaz at Lord’s Cricket Ground and teacher Jamie Frickleton and pupils Bella and Rosie received their award from Chance to Shine ambassador and Western Storm and Welsh Fire cricketer, Sophie Luff
Bella, Rosie and Mr Frickleton, who were presented the award by Sophie Luff (far right) along with Ann-Marie Presswell (left) who co-delivered the programme.
Braunton Academy have been taking part in the Chance to Shine Girls Secondary School Programme which supports girls, aged 11-16, to develop key employability and leadership skills along with building and sustaining a positive relationship with sport and physical activity. Chance to Shine coaches support the ‘young leaders’ to learn the skills to run their own extra-curricular cricket club at school and then to coach pupils from local primary schools at cricket festivals.
The judging panel were impressed by the way that Braunton Academy have engaged with the leadership element of the programme with over 100 girls across Year 7-9 participating. Many of the girls had little knowledge of cricket but can now confidently lead a session with their peers. The leadership programme has also created an opportunity for the school to create links with local primary schools where the girls plan to lead a primary school festival. The girls showed that they were able to adapt to new challenges and have grown in confidence.
James Kemp, North Devon Club and Community Coach, runs the Leadership Day at Braunton.
After receiving the award, 13-year-old Bella said, “It feels amazing to win. It means we’ll have lots more opportunities for the future to play cricket.”
12-year-old Rosie said, “It’s going to inspire other children to come and play cricket when they see the opportunities that we have been given.”
The Chance to Shine Annual Awards, supported by NatWest, celebrates schools, projects and individuals from across the charity’s programmes who help to spread the power of cricket. Chance to Shine gives children and young people a chance to play cricket and uses the sport to help them learn valuable skills like teamwork, communication and resilience to support them throughout their lives. Working across England, Wales and Scotland, in a typical year the charity supports over 500,000 young people to play cricket.
Chance to Shine Chief Executive, Laura Cordingley commended the winners saying “Congratulations to all the incredible winners tonight. Braunton Academy have played a vital role in helping young people to get active through cricket and to develop in so many different ways. Cricket has the potential to change people’s lives for the better and we have seen that in the winner’s stories tonight. We are immensely proud of the work that they do.”
Ann-Marie Presswell, Devon Cricket Board's Women and Girl's Development Officer said "We are extremely proud of Braunton Academy and all they have acheived. Their nomination and win was well deserved. It was a pleasure to work with the staff and students at the school. We are working now to ensure that the success of the cricket in school transfers to the local cricket club and the women's softball team, so that they girls can carry on their cricket outside of school"