Great Baddow Student Voted Young Sports Leader of the Year

Niall Pollinger with England and Kent cricketer Sam Billings

Niall Pollinger with England and Kent cricketer Sam Billings

Niall Pollinger, sixth form student at Great Baddow High School and Young Leader for the Chelmsford School Sports Partnership, was voted ‘Young Leader of the Year’ at the Chance to Shine Awards in London, in recognition of his commitment to developing and supporting the Chance to Shine programme through leadership over the last four years.

Chance to Shine is a national charity that is focused on bringing cricket to schools and communities across the country and volunteers are a valued part of their organization. Volunteers are recognized at their Annual Achievement Awards and Great Baddow High School were delighted when one of their students was nominated for the Young Leader of the Year Award by Sara Robson from the Chelmsford School Sports Partnership.

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“Niall exemplifies the values of the Chance to Shine programme and promotes Cricket to young people in our community.

“This year Niall has officiated at our Infant cricket competitions of 3 tees where we have had 28 teams competing. Niall coaches the children. Leads warm up activities and then officiates by umpiring the matches.

“His leadership skills are of the highest quality – he is always the first to offer to help and uses his initiative to promote participation in activities. Niall has a lovely manner with children and teachers alike and is a very mature, hardworking young man. He works closely with Charlotte Mower our Chance to Shine Coach and supports the work she does in our 50 schools.

“Niall has been involved with all our Kwik cricket competitions this year too and has umpired at all the level two events including our best and girls team finals, at Old Chelmsfordians Cricket Club. He is fair, supportive and able to command respect from the children. 

“We took this opportunity to nominate a truly dedicated leader and to thank Niall for all his help in developing and supporting the Chance to Shine programme.“ Sara Robson Schools Games Organiser,Chelmsford SSP.

The Chelmsford School Sport Partnerships aims are to increase participation in PE and Sports for all young people in Chelmsford and works with leaders in the Chelmsford schools to help promote and deliver competitions. This Award aims to recognise a young person (aged 14 – 18 years) who has demonstrated leadership skills through their involvement with umpiring, officiating and managing youth cricket at their local club.

“I nominated Niall for the award and he won!! …. He is a real asset to the Chelmsford School Sports Partnership and I am thrilled that he was recognized for the amount of work he dedicates to his sport.” Sara Robson, School Games Organiser, Chelmsford SSP

Chris Persey, Sports College Coordinator at Great Baddow High School, spoke to Chance to Shine about his student and was full of praise.

“Niall goes above and beyond, he is an outstanding young leader and his subject knowledge, especially in cricket, is incredibly high and he is a good role model to our younger students. The sheer amount of hours and dedication he puts in makes him a fantastic representative for Great Baddow High School. He is a talented and down to earth individual which makes him a great leader.” Chris Persey, Sports College Coordinator.

As you would expect, Niall was over the moon to be nominated for the award.

“It is an honour to be able to give children the knowledge and pathways to follow to pursue their passion in cricket. It is certainly something I take with a lot of pride and would like to continue. If you’ve got a passion for sport, you want to be involved at every level and volunteering is a great way to be part of the sport. It’s about helping others to interest them in a sport they want to do for the rest of their lives.

“Being able to volunteer is something I wanted to do and Chance to Shine have given me the opportunity to do so.” Niall Pollinger, GBHS Student & Chance to Shine Volunteer

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