CHILDREN in Wilmslow are preparing for an exciting summer of sunshine, smiles and sixes ahead of the official launch of All Stars Cricket this weekend.

More than 40 sporty youngsters and their families attended picturesque Lindow Cricket Club on Saturday for an action-packed taster session, which featured a special guest appearance from former England captain Michael Vaughan.

Vaughan is an ambassador for All Stars, a new initiative from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) which aims to inspire the next generation of youngsters and breathe new life into cricket clubs up and down the country.

Wilmslow Guardian:

More than 25,000 children have already signed up to the eight-week summer programme, which is running locally at Styal Cricket Club, Wilmslow Cricket Club and Lindow.

“Cricket is the heartbeat of the English summer, and I’m thrilled to be associated with an inspiring programme like All Stars,” said Vaughan ahead of Friday’s launch.

“It’s a great opportunity for boys and girls to stay healthy, make some new friends and perhaps discover a passion for the game I have known and loved all my life."

Vaughan added: “Cricket is a community sport, and we hope that families will fall in love with All Stars and become part of the fabric of each club. I hope everyone has a brilliant time this summer.”

Saturday’s taster at Lindow gave children an opportunity to experience some of the skills and drills they will be working towards each week, with parents encouraged to support and join in.

Some of those present had already signed up to the programme, and came proudly sporting their personalised All Stars t-shirts.

Children also receive a free back-pack, cap, cricket bat, ball and water bottle, allowing them to play more games at home throughout the summer.

Cheshire Cricket Board Development and Coaching Officer Andrew Jackson, who hosted Saturday’s event, said: “It was great to see so many smiling faces as the children developed their skills.”

Parents described the session as “amazing” and “great fun for everyone,” and the morning was topped off by a visit from the All Stars mascot, who proved a real hit with all the children.

All Stars begins this Saturday at Lindow, with sessions at nearby Styal Cricket Club commencing on Tuesday, May 23, and at Wilmslow Cricket Club from Thursday, May 25.

To register and find out more about the programme, parents should visit ecb.co.uk/play/all-stars