This week the Middlesex Cricket Participation Team were celebrating a successful night at the Chance to Shine 2016 Awards when two of their project nominations walked off with national awards at the prestigious ceremony held at Lord’s.

First to be recognised by the judging panel was Middlesex’s Camden Street Project, which, now its third year, lifted the Project of the Year Award. Up against some very stiff national competition, the Camden Street Project, run by Middlesex Participation’s project coach and coordinator, Shakeel Ahmed, has been a fantastic success story that has had a huge impact on the local community in Camden.

In an inner London borough where high tension existed amongst young people, the introduction of cricket has provided the perfect catalyst for bringing the community together and breaking down barriers. With participation numbers on the increase, and with strong links being formed between schools, clubs and community groups, the Camden Street Project was deservedly acknowledged with the national award.

Speaking of the Camden project lifting the National Award, Pete Jones, Middlesex Participation Team’s Head of Community and Outreach, commented…

“Congratulations to Shakeel, the support coaches and the participants at Queens Crescent Community Centre in Camden for winning the Chance to Shine Project of the Year Award. It’s a great session, and the work that Middlesex Cricket, through Shakeel, and the staff at the Community Centre have done in making cricket the number one sport of choice for the young people who attend is amazing. Well done to everyone involved.”

 PROJECT OF THE YEAR - CAMDEN STREET PROJECT (thanks to Chance to Shine for video)

Next up for Middlesex Participation was the national award for Young Leader of the Year, which was won by fourteen-year-old Featherstone High School pupil Muskan Ratti.

Just three years ago Muskan joined Featherstone as a fresh faced, year seven student, who with the input of Chance to Shine Coaches has gone on to win the Outstanding Participant Award, has developed into an outstanding cricketer herself, has over the last three years encouraged a huge number of girls to take up the game, all whilst managing to balance her own GCSE studies.

Muskan’s drive, passion and determination to boost cricket participation at her school hasn’t stopped there, as she became the first Featherstone School female pupil to join the local Indian Gymkhana Cricket Club, where she has since helped swell membership and participation numbers.

Commenting on Muskan receiving the Young Leader of the Award, Sharon Eyers, Middlesex Participation’s Head of Children and Fans, commented…

“It was such a pleasure to witness a young girl who we met for the first time on a Leadership course at Featherstone School early this summer collect a National Award for Young Leader of the Year at Lord’s at the Chance to Shine Awards dinner later that year. What a journey she’s been on, growing in confidence as the year went on. We look forward to watching her continue to grow, both as a player and as a leader.”

YOUNG LEADER OF THE YEAR - MUSKAN RATTI (thanks to Chance to Shine for video)