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Sir Alastair Cook and Matthew Hoggard kick off Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Former England Test stars Matthew Hoggard and Sir Alastair Cook helped launch the 2021 Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week on Monday.

The ‘Ultimate School Day’, organised by Chance to Shine, saw a few special names take the lead at Stanningley Primary in Yorkshire.

The Barmy Army’s legendary former trumpeter, Billy Cooper, was on hand to deliver a music lesson; 2005 Ashes winner Hoggard was in charge of P.E; while Cook, England’s leading run-scorer in Test cricket, dished out some lessons in teamwork to the school’s Year 5 students. Blue Peter presenter Lyndsey Russell brought a close to the day with an arts and crafts lesson.

The day was a celebratory event after a difficult year: Chance to Shine’s latest impact report shows that 16 per cent of children in 2020 had a mental health issue compared to 10 per cent in 2017. The charity’s aim is to use cricket to improve the physical, mental, personal and social well-being of young people, and Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week will involve children around the country playing and learning about the game.

“Lockdown was so boring and I had nothing to do,” said pupil Miles Ellam, aged 9, at the event on Monday. “I used to say ‘I can’t wait until I can start doing cricket again.’ Today has been a great chance to play with my friends again and have fun. We even played cricket with a superstar!”

“It was a great day and you could tell the kids really enjoyed it,” said Cook. “Any parent will know how challenging lockdown has been on children and getting them back out, playing with friends and enjoying sport is such an important part of getting their development back on track. That’s what Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week is all about this year and I was delighted to be a part of it, especially if it gave the teachers a well-earned break!”

Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week (21-25 June) sees children up and down the country get involved playing and learning through cricket. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the sport, to inspire children to take part in cricketing activities and to showcase the work that Chance to Shine does in bringing the game to hundreds of thousands of children every year. For more information on how to get involved, click here.

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