England seamer Chris Tremlett went back to school on Tuesday 5 July to give a special ‘MCC Spirit of Cricket’ assembly to children in Battersea, South London.
Alongside MCC Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw, 6’8" Tremlett aimed to teach the children of Honeywell Primary School the importance of good sportsmanship.
Ashes winner Tremlett delivered the assembly as part of the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine campaign, which aims to educate two million state school children through cricket by 2015.
Win and lose graciously
During the interactive assembly, around 200 pupils discussed how to win and lose graciously in sport.
The children were shown the iconic image of Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff consoling Brett Lee after the Australians had narrowly lost at Edgbaston during the famous 2005 Ashes.
Chris described the memorable moment of good sportsmanship and encouraged them all to follow 'Freddie’s' example on the playing field.
The assembly hall was then split into ‘England’ and ‘Australia’ teams and several pupils took part in a ‘bowl off’ together with Tremlett on the England side and Bradshaw, a former Tasmania player, on the Australia side.
The children and ambassadors immediately put what they had just learned into practice, shaking hands after an honourable draw.
More than winning
Tremlett, who lives locally, later took a coaching session with year five pupils in the school playground.
Speaking afterwards, the 29-year-old said he had enjoyed going back to school.
Tremlett said: “It was a great day… It always brings back good memories.
The Surrey bowler, who plays at Lord’s in the opening Test against India on Thursday 21 July, also described the importance of sportsmanship in top level sport.
“Sport’s not just about winning. You obviously always want to win, but it’s also about learning fair play, respecting your team-mates and enjoying it.
“It was good to see the kids shaking hands with each other after the assembly and match, so hopefully they’ve come away learning something.”
‘Play hard, play fair’
MCC’s Spirit of Cricket campaign, which urges cricketers of all levels to ‘Play hard, play fair, have fun,’ has worked in collaboration with the Chance to Shine project since 2009.
The Spirit of Cricket message is being delivered by Chance to Shine coaches as part of their core message.
In 2011 so far, 400,000 children in just under 4,000 schools will be introduced to the scheme.
Bradshaw spoke of his delight at being able to introduce the Spirit of Cricket to so many children.
He said: “It is always great to see the MCC Spirit of Cricket message brought to life through our work in Chance to Shine schools.
“It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces learning how to play the game hard, but fair.
“The Spirit of Cricket principles apply not only to cricket, but to everyday life, and it was fantastic to see the children respond so enthusiastically to this message.”
Lords.org offers a special MCC Spirit of Cricket online resource for school assemblies that cover key aspects of the MCC Spirit of Cricket.