Values of cricket help Sandwell school land national award

A Sandwell school has received national recognition for how it has used cricket to teach pupils values and life lessons.

St John Bosco Catholic Primary School from West Bromwich has won the Primary School of the Year in the 2020 Chance to Shine awards. Pictured from left; Esi Nyarko, SethHolder, Craig Ellicott, Simon Regis and, at the front, Thea Ettien.
St John Bosco Catholic Primary School from West Bromwich has won the Primary School of the Year in the 2020 Chance to Shine awards. Pictured from left; Esi Nyarko, SethHolder, Craig Ellicott, Simon Regis and, at the front, Thea Ettien.

St John Bosco Catholic Primary School, in West Bromwich, has won the Primary School of the Year award in the 2020 Chance to Shine awards.

Chance to Shine supports schools, clubs and projects to get children into cricket and everything it stands for and the award recognises the school which has most closely taken on the values of the charity.

St John Bosco is one of more than 5,000 schools the charity works with, and PE co-ordinator Craig Ellicott spoke about the significance of winning the award.

He said: "It's nice to get that sort of recognition from an award such as this because I think it validates the work we did as a school to keep the children engaged during lockdown.

"That was the main reason for the award as it has been a struggle to keep the children mentally and physically fit and cricket became our main tool to help with that."

The school, in addition to winning the award, also received a message of congratulations from England cricketer Sam Billings.

Mr Ellicott, who took up the sport himself as a way to keep fit, said teaching the values of cricket had been part of the school's curriculum over the last two years.

The 38-year-old also said the children had loved taking up the sport as it helped to keep them fit and brought a smile to their faces during lockdown.

He said: "It was good to get the children out doing a safe activity during lockdown and once it was approved as safe for people to do, they were able to play more and more.

"The sport has been a god-send to me and my mental health by being able to go out and play it during this time and I see the children taking out cricket sets during lunch breaks.

"The atmosphere has been lovely, with everyone working really hard, so it's wonderful to be able to share this with everyone as, without them, it wouldn't have happened."

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