CHILDREN from a Darwen primary were bowled over when they met England cricket star Kate Cross.

Junior pupils at Hoddlesden St Paul's Church of England Primary School took part in a question and answer session before having the chance to try out their skills against the cricket ace.

England and Lancashire cricketer Kate came to the school as part of the Chance to Shine Schools programme, which is run in conjunction with the English Cricket Board.

Kate, who is the daughter of former Bolton Wanderers striker David Cross, was the first female to be accepted into Lancashire's cricket academy in 2006 and made her debut for the England Under-21 side in 2007.

Year two teacher and P.E leader, Miss Rebecca Watkins who organised the visit said the children were inspired by meeting her.

She said: "I know one of the England coaches who contacted me and asked if I would like for one of the Women's England players to come in to school and speak to the children.

"We were absolutely thrilled for Kate to come into school and speak to the juniors about promoting women in sport.

"Kate actually came in during the 'Women in Sport Week' which made it even more fitting.

"She took part in a question and answer session where the children asked her a lot of questions such as asking 'what do you eat before a game' and 'how much training do you do'.

"We had planned about half an hour for the questions but the children were so enthusiastic that it actually lasted about 45 minutes. Afterwards Kate commented on how impressed she was with the children.

"She took each class out for a mini coaching session where children had a go at bowling, batting and took part in a whole class team game.

"She was absolutely fantastic with the children. She really inspired them and shown them that sport does have a purpose, and if they try they could go on to achieve great things.

"Since then they haven't stopped talking about the visit have been even more keen to play with the cricket sets at lunch time.

"She has also had a huge impact on our boys cricket team who play in the Darwen Primary School league."