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Sunrisers were delighted to host the Eastern Chance to Compete Regional Finals, in partnership with Chance to Shine, on Monday at Billericay Cricket Club.

State schools from six counties in our region came together to face each other for the U13 and U15 finals day, having won their respective county competitions earlier this summer.

Each school were given a Sunrisers First Team player to help guide them through the day, with the girls invited to ask questions and get some coaching from the Sunrisers professionals.

Chance to Compete is an exciting opportunity for girls to play, run by the Chance to Shine charity, who strive to provide opportunities for young people to get involved in cricket, and learn and develop through the game. Chance to Compete is the most focused girls programme on offer, which is aimed at Secondary School U13 and U15 girls, and gives them the chance to test their skills in a competitive environment against other schools.

The games were played in excellent spirit, and the teams produced some exciting cricket in some challenging windy conditions, resulting in a competitive day in Essex. Congratulations to Norfolk’s Wymondham College, who came out as the winning side for both competitions.

Take Her Lead were also present, with the school children able to spend some time learning a little bit more about the charity, who want to make sure that girls have the best possible experience of cricket, celebrating the power that we can create when we come together as a cricket community.

James Hendry, who is an Operations Manager at Chance to Shine, enjoyed the day: “Sunrisers have done a great job here today, making an inspiring event for the participants, schools, and the teachers. Everybody has looked like they enjoyed their day.

It’s great to have Sunrisers’ support with this event. We’ve made a really conscious effort over the last couple of years to link in with the regional teams, so to have their full first team squad down to help out has been brilliant, and the icing on the cake.”

Mady Villiers, who ‘coached’ the Wymondham U15 side to victory, said: “We’ve had such a good day meeting all these young female cricketers from around our region. To have around 120 girls here, playing the game to a good standard, is so exciting for the sport and that’s down to the great work that Chance to Shine and the County Boards do day to day at the grassroots level of the game.

Being with the team throughout the day and getting to know them, hearing their cricket stories, was really good too. Personally, I’m delighted to be able to add ‘Winning Manager’ of the U15 Chance to Compete competition onto my CV.”

Sunrisers would like to thank the umpires who came out to run the pitches for the day, Chance to Shine for their support with setting up the day, our hosts Billericay Cricket Club, and the pupils and teachers who attended for coming and representing their schools brilliantly throughout.

Find out more information about the brilliant work that Chance to Shine do here, and click here to learn more about Take Her Lead.

U13 competition: Alameda Middle School (Bedfordshire), Saffron Walden County High School (Essex), The Hertfordshire & Essex High School and Science College (Hertfordshire), Bishop Ramsey School (Middlesex), Wymondham College (Norfolk), Northgate High School (Suffolk).

U15 competition: Biddenham International School and Sports College (Bedfordshire), Chelmsford County High School for Girls (Essex), The John Warner School (Hertfordshire), Waldegrave School (Middlesex), Wymondham College (Norfolk), Farlingaye High School (Suffolk)

Photos: Ray Lawrence Photography

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