Search

Post People: Dagenham teacher’s national prize for boosting bat and ball

PUBLISHED: 12:12 11 November 2016

Lycamobile's Chris Tooley, Sky News presenter Sarah Jane-Mee and England cricketer present Paul Cook with his award Picture: Chance to Shine

Lycamobile's Chris Tooley, Sky News presenter Sarah Jane-Mee and England cricketer present Paul Cook with his award Picture: Chance to Shine

Archant

Robert Clack School PE teacher Paul Cook, 54, tells Seb Murphy-Bates how he rejuvenated cricket and won Chance to Shine’s Special Recognition Award

“I’ve been in charge of cricket at the school for about seven years and we’ve got all ages interested and have two girl groups.

“Before that I was a graphic artist at the Daily Mail for 28 years. But I had a reputation for coaching rugby so in 2002 the schools asked me to come and help part-time.

“When you’re teaching it’s a bit like being a stand-up comedian – you can go out there and just die but sometimes it’s the best thing in the world and it’s never boring. The school’s been excellent for me, they put me through my degree and I qualified as a PE teacher when I was 51.

“A decade ago cricket in state schools was languishing, probably because it gets squeezed between football seasons and it’s seen as elitist.

“I’d made my reputation through rugby but I also love cricket so I decided to do something about it.

“I couldn’t have done it without the charity Chance to Shine, which promotes cricket in state schools. They supplied Level Two coaches and I can’t speak too highly of them.

“A lot of kids don’t know cricket exists but when they play it they realise they like it. We’ve got kids playing it here even though their home countries don’t. There are Scandinavian and Nigerian girls playing – it’s excellent. And if you get involved now teams will snap you up because participation levels are so low.

“It’s a great game that can be played by all shapes and sizes – I’m a bit rotund and was once nominated the fattest PE teacher in the borough on some social media site. But I’ve been playing it since I was 14.

“The important thing for state schools is to get kids interested at the start of year instead of waiting till Easter, that’s helped us flourish.

“We’ve got facilities being built here that Essex Country Cricket want to use for training when they’re finished in Easter next year and we’re setting up and under-19s team for the first time.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Barking and Dagenham Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Barking and Dagenham Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Barking and Dagenham Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

9 minutes ago

Championship: Redcar Bears 37 Lakeside Hammers 53

21 minutes ago

Essex and England cricket legend Graham Gooch will be signing copies of a brand new book, Essex County Cricket Club Memories, during Sunday’s home One Day Cup match against Surrey at Chelmsford.

07:00

Explosive all-rounder has been in form with the bat so far

07:00

Fraudulent blue badge use is being clamped down on by Barking and Dagenham Council, with several badges being seized last week.

After three away games in a row, the Eagles will look to impress against Somerset, Surrey and Glamorgan over the next week

Yesterday, 17:45

Police investigating the death of Abdulrahman Juma in Barking have arrested a man on suspicion of murder.

Yesterday, 17:03

A scooter thief from Dagenham has been jailed for 18 weeks after being caught driving recklessly and in possession of cocaine.

Yesterday, 15:01

A Dagenham sixth former has won an essay writing competition with her deep dive into sociology.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now