Pupils at Crown Hill’s Community College got a chance to learn cricket skills from members of the England and England women cricket squads, as part of the Schools official opening.
The new £21million facility, which is now a local centre for excellence in Cricket, was opened by Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby and chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Giles Clarke.
Batsman for Nottinghamshire and England, James Taylor as well as Katherine Brunt and Sonia Odedra from the England Womens Cricket Squad spent around two hours at the school teaching pupils who were mainly from South Asian backgrounds. They also handed out two trophies to the schools top cricketers.
Sonia Odedra spoke about the facilities “The sports hall is absolutely fantastic, its not only just cricket specific, its a multi sports hall, so its a great facility to have”
“being from Leicestershire, I’ve not had the same opportunities with facilities, so its absolutely brilliant for the kids”.
James Taylor added “Its exciting to be here, and hopefully what a little of what I know will rub off on them”
Crown Hills Community College, in Gwendolen Road, has been transformed as part of the city council’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. Along with bright new classrooms, large airy plaza areas and auditoriums equipped with the latest IT equipment, the new school boasts a large, new multi-purpose sports centre with fitness suite, dance studio and eight sports courts.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) contributed almost £1million in to the new sports hall, which offers state of the art cricket facilities. Giles Clarke, Chairman of the ECB said, “It’s very important to cricket, that we engage fully in our inner cities, and that the children in our inner cities have decent facilities to play”
“its equally important to engage with our south Asian communities, as these are our next generation of supporters, of spectators and of players and if there given proper facilities they will will love it, if they are don’t have decent facilities what chance do they have”
Head Teacher at Crown Hills Community College, Bernadette Green spoke of how please she was to have the players visit, “I’m delighted that three of the England cricket players were able to come this afternoon, because obviously they’re great role models, so for our young people to see them, I’m sure was a really exciting opportunity and to have two of our students presented with trophies by them, I think they will have seen that as a real honour, and they will go home and talk about that I’m sure for years to come”