Is the Gentleman’s Game Rubbing Off on Brit School Kids?

by Tanya Thomas on Oct 14 2008 10:56 AM

It’s not called the Gentleman’s Game for nothing, because the popular sport still sticks to its good old-fashioned cricketing values. Now, a project which studied the effect pf cricket promotion in Brit schools says that the game can instill better values in children and even manages to improve behavior in schools.

According to The Independent, the "Chance to Shine" scheme, designed to promote cricket in state schools by sending in club coaches to teach the game, has had a spin off beyond PE lessons.

According to researchers at Loughborough University, schools taking part in the scheme have reported improved behavior.

The organizers of "Chance to Shine" are in no doubt that the club coaches who supervise cricket sessions in state schools have instilled the traditional values of the game in the pupils.

"With cricket there is very much a code of conduct and code of behavior such as clapping if somebody gets a six even with the other side," said one teacher involved in the scheme.

"It brings in very positive conduct and way of behaving compared to other sports that are usually quite negative - such as football where they [the pupils] get easily upset or argue over decisions. With cricket, it is very much gentlemanly conduct."

The evaluation also says it has helped with the integration of different ethnic groups whose first language is not English. "A lot of our children have academic difficulties and we do find in sporting activities they may have a hidden talent," one school told researchers.

"A lot of our Bengali children may have English as an additional language but if you get them on a cricket pitch they are up there with their peers or even ahead ... It gives them a sense of self worth that they are good at something which raises their self-esteem."

At present the scheme is operating in 1,200 state schools. The Cricket Foundation, which runs the scheme, aims to extend it to 5,200 primary and 1,500 secondary schools by 2015.