A Blackburn primary school were named Primary School of the Year for their inspiring their pupils to play cricket.

Last Thursday (November 24), St Thomas’ Primary School were crowned Primary School of the Year at an awards ceremony held by Chance to Shine - a national independent charity which has been working to deliver cricket coaching sessions in state schools and disadvantaged communities.

The evening was hosted by BBC’s Eleanor Oldroyd at Lord’s Cricket Ground, and headteacher Yusra Arshad, teachers Lorna Douglas and David Davies and pupils Saina and Rua received their award from Chance to Shine ambassador, and former England Test bowler Steven Finn.

Satima, a 10-year-old student at St Thomas’, said: “Before, I didn’t know how to play cricket at all, but my teachers helped me play and when I play cricket, I feel proud and confident. It makes me happy.”

The judging panel were impressed by the way St Thomas’ has embraced the opportunity to play cricket because even when rain disrupted their sessions, pupils were fully engaged and children who traditionally showed no interest in sport began to express an interest in the game.

The judges also commended the way teachers at the school have taken to cricket, joining in with the sessions and learning how to deliver cricket themselves.

Many pupils continue to play cricket, England's national sport, at their local Chance to Shine Street project.

Chance to Shine and Lancashire Cricket Foundation coach Chris Riley said: “I think the school have been absolutely fantastic.

"They have really engaged with the programme, engaged with the leadership element, and teacher led CPD stuff that we’ve done.”

Since 2005, the charity has reached more than six million young people and currently delivers sessions in around 5,000 state schools per year – as well as over 200 weekly Street cricket projects.

The Chance to Shine Annual Awards celebrates those who have harnessed the inspirational power of cricket to improve the lives of young people.

Chance to Shine Chief executive, Laura Cordingley commended the winners, adding: “Congratulations to St Thomas’ Primary School on their award.

"They have played a vital role in helping their pupils to get active through cricket and to benefit in so many different ways.

"Cricket has the potential to change people’s lives for the better and we have seen that in the winner’s stories tonight. We are immensely proud of the work that they do.”