National award for Suffolk teenager Kate

A SUFFOLK teenager has been recognised nationally for her work on the ‘Chance to Shine supported by Brit Insurance’ campaign.

Kate Thompson from Stradbroke CC won the Chance to Shine Young Leader award at the Brit Insurance Annual Achievement Awards, held at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

The award, recognises the leadership skills Kate has shown through her involvement with officiating and managing youth cricket at their local club.

Chance to Shine is the Cricket Foundation’s charitable campaign to educate two million state school children through cricket by 2015. It is now running in 4,000 schools and nearly 1.5 million children have enjoyed cricketing opportunities as a result.

The award judges described Kate as an exceptional volunteer and Young Leader and highlighted her contribution towards youth cricket and encouraging girls and boys to participate as innovative and inspirational.

She is a natural young leader who has helped many develop many youngsters to engage in, and learn the game. She has played a vital role in providing the platform for the migration of youngsters from the Chance to Shine project schools.

Kate was presented with the award by the England Women’s player and Chance to Shine coaching ambassador, Jenny Gunn. The star-studded event was attended by Governor of the Bank of England and Chance to Shine President, Sir Mervyn King, England captains Andrew Strauss and Charlotte Edwards along with fellow England stars Chris Tremlett and Jade Dernbach.

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Wasim Khan, Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation, the charity behind Chance to Shine, said: “The Brit Insurance Annual Achievement Awards are our opportunity to recognise and say thank you to all the people who work extremely hard on the Chance to Shine campaign in schools and clubs throughout the country.”

Kate, who is 16, was nominated for the award by Suffolk County Cricket board. She said: “I got involved with Chance to Shine through working with Stradbroke Cricket Club. I took over the girls’ and ladies’ section of the cricket club with the aim to get more girls into cricket but I was also working to umpire, score and coach as a whole within the club.

“Chance to Shine has tripled our junior membership and has had a big effect on the club. It has got more girls involved and we can now put out more girls teams and have more girls involved in age group cricket.”