Mansfield teacher receives cricket award from England star Matt Prior

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A MANSFIELD teacher has won a prestigious cricket award for his work getting youngsters involved with the sport.

Paul Gash from Oak Tree Primary School in Mansfield has been recognised nationally for his work on the ‘Chance to Shine’ campaign.

Paul was awarded the special recognition award at the Brit Insurance Annual Achievement Awards, held at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

The award, sponsored by Chance to Shine’s official supporter, Brit Insurance, recognises the immense contribution made by an individual or individuals to the programme.

Chance to Shine is the Cricket Foundation’s charitable campaign to educate two million state school children through cricket by 2015.

The campaign is now running in 4,500 schools and 1.8 million children have enjoyed cricketing opportunities as a result.

The award judges were impressed by Paul’s endless enthusiasm and his dedication to the children which led to him taking sessions in break times and after schools.

Paul was presented with the award by England star Matt Prior. Also in attendance was former England captain Alec Stewart.

Wasim Khan, chief executive of the Cricket Foundation, the charity behind Chance to Shine said: “The Brit Insurance Annual Achievement Awards is a fantastic opportunity for us to highlight and say thank you to all the people in clubs and schools around the country who make the Chance to Shine campaign possible.”

Paul said: “This is a massive honour. I wish our girls were here to share it with me, they are national champions now so the award is down to them as well. Since the start of the Chance to Shine programme our school has changed. The behaviour, attendance and everything has improved and come into place and this award is recognition for all of that. It’s phenomenal.”