Warwickshire all-rounder Ateeq Javid recently made a special visit with the Royal London One-Day Cup to Clifton Primary School, in Balsall Heath, as part of a programme to make cricket more accessible to school children.
Ateeq – who has recently been appointed as a Community Ambassador for the club – took a school assembly as part of the Warwickshire Cricket Board’s Chance to Shine programme, where he gave children an insight to cricket and presented each one with a plastic bat to continue playing the game.
Speaking at the event, Ateeq said: “I’m keen to spend as much time as possible with the Warwickshire Cricket Board and our community team this winter to help grow the game across the county, and use my experience to support young cricketers.”
Ateeq (25) first played cricket at Prince Albert Primary School in Aston, where he got to work with Warwickshire Cricket Board coaches and join the club’s Development of Excellence programme at under 10s level. He progressed through the county age group teams during his time with Aston Manor Secondary School and into the club academy, before making his senior team debut aged 17.
“Cricket helped me appreciate what it’s like to be part of a team and playing the game was all that I wanted to do as a youngster,” he said.
“There are lots of opportunities for youngsters to get involved and hopefully today’s assembly will encourage many of these Clifton Primary School children to get involved in the game, not just at school but by joining clubs and other Warwickshire Cricket Board programmes.”
The Warwickshire Cricket Board’s Chance to Shine programme is open to primary and secondary schools across the region, who can receive coaching sessions and entry to cricket festivals through linking with a club; in this case Moseley Ashfield CC.
Robin Simpson, Schools Games Organiser at Clifton Primary School, said: “Ateeq’s journey into the professional game is a great story that many of the children here today could relate to.
“We’re very keen to give Clifton Primary School children the best possible opportunity to experience play sport and experience the many different skills that cricket presents. We’re very grateful to Ateeq and the Warwickshire Cricket Board for providing such a fantastic session for the school.”