SOMERSET fast bowler Steve Kirby delivered an MCC Spirit of Cricket assembly to 320 pupils at Manor Court Primary School in Chard as part of the Chance to Shine programme.

The assembly was co-delivered by former England international Caroline Foster who is the Somerset women and girls’ head coach.

Kirby spoke about the importance of playing hard but playing fair and the necessity of respecting umpires and the opposition so that everyone has an enjoyable experience of playing sport.

He also encouraged the children to try as many activities as possible in order to try to find some that they loved.

Once they had a love for something, Kirby said they had every chance of excelling in that activity just as he has done in cricket.

The assembly was followed by a fun coaching session for 33 Year 3 pupils.

Kirby said: “I really enjoyed my morning with the school children and seeing how enthusiastic they were about everything. If we have inspired just one child to take up cricket then I will be over the moon.”

Chard Cricket Club have built up strong links with several of their local schools having been involved with the Chance to Shine programme for eight years.

Funding for coaching was switched to other projects in Somerset after five years but Chard CC chairman and coach, Kevin Clancy, has continued the relationship with schools and cricket continues to thrive in the community.

Manor Court are one of 44 schools in the county who have affiliated to Somerset Cricket Board in 2014.

Affiliation enables schools to access cricket in many different ways to benefit pupils and staff. More details of the are available on the SCB website.