Participants, coaches and volunteers were recognised for their work on the Chance to Shine Street programme at the Kia Oval on Thursday 19th November.
Sky presenter Sarah-Jane Mee hosted the Chance to Shine Street Awards supported by Lycamobile, which celebrated the unsung heroes of the Street programme.
Special guests from the cricketing world supported the event, including England cricketer Samit Patel, Surrey batsman Arun Harinath, as well as England legends Mike Gatting and Devon Malcolm.
Chance to Shine Street was launched in 2008 to bring cricket to young people in urban areas where there are few green spaces and fewer traditional cricket clubs. The charity is also using the game to promote social cohesion and connect young people from different backgrounds in diverse communities.
Mira Patel was the winner of the Outstanding Volunteer Award, for her work on the girl’s programme in Leicester, presented by England legend Devon Malcolm
Her award citation commended her for developing a great relationship with the girls in the project. Tom Leonard from Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket said that having such a positive female role model has been vital. She has developed as a coach through her volunteering, becoming more confident in passing on her knowledge to help the girls at her Street session to really enjoy their cricket and improve their skills.
Mira commented, “It feels amazing to win. The girls deserve it more than me. They make me enjoy the sessions and make me want to come back. I was really happy and shocked when I heard I’d won – I’ve never won anything before. It means everything to me to win this award.”
Vijal Vinay was awarded with the Outstanding Young Adults Participant trophy, presented to him by England international, Samit Patel. He received the award after being nominated following excellent batting performances; both at local Leicester sessions and national competitions at Edgbaston and Lord’s. Vijal has been a regular attendee at the Young Adults sessions held weekly at Cossington Street Sports Centre.
Leicester had another successful nominee in the Outstanding Senior Participant category, which was awarded to
Bhoumik Premji (shown fielding left), who was unfortunately unable to attend the awards evening. Bhoumik was nominated due to his exemplary sportsmanship displayed at the Youth sessions held at Cossington Street Sports Centre and, in particular, his sporting behaviour at holiday competitions.
A video of all the Outstanding Participant winners can be seen below.
To round off the night, the Cossington Young Adults project was named winner in the Outstanding Young Adults Project category. Coach Dave Allen collected the award, presented by England legend Mike Gatting and Surrey CCC batsman Arun Harinath. The project has grown from relatively small beginnings, to having a packed sports hall on a regular basis, with a thriving weekly indoor league. Teams from Leicester also competed at national competitions at Edgbaston and finished third in the national finals at Lord’s.
Leicestershire & Rutland Cricket currently deliver two Street sessions for for children aged 8 to 16, two sessions for young adults aged 16 to 24 and one girls session for ages 8 to 15.