England cricket captain Joe Root makes surprise trip to former Sheffield school

England Cricket Captain Joe Root visits his old primary school, Dore Primary in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees
England Cricket Captain Joe Root visits his old primary school, Dore Primary in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees
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England cricket captain Joe Root has returned to his old school to give pupils a sporting masterclass.

The 26-year-old Yorkshire batsman returned to Dore Primary, in Dore, where he was once a pupil to help Chance to Shine launch Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week.

England Cricket Captain Joe Root visits his old primary school, Dore Primary in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

England Cricket Captain Joe Root visits his old primary school, Dore Primary in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

Root, appointed Test skipper in February, joined a special assembly looking at his own time at the school before answering questions from pupils.

Then he headed out onto the playground to take part in a Chance to Shine session, bowling as year six children looked to belt him for six and offering batting tips along the way.

Root’s former headteacher Ian Wileman was in attendance too, and had his own recollections of the famous Yorkshireman who has progressed so far from his early days in the Steel City.

"The thing I remember about Joe with the other pupils was that he was not revered but a good example, " he said.

England Cricket Captain Joe Root visits his old primary school, Dore Primary in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

England Cricket Captain Joe Root visits his old primary school, Dore Primary in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

"He was a good lad. He got on with people, got on with things but the main thing was he would listen to people who had something to tell him about how to play.

"As for (school) captaincy, it was just something that came to him quite naturally and you wouldn’t think it was odd.

"He’d just say move around there a bit, you need to be a bit further back.’ And because it was Joe and people respected what he said and did, that would just happen. He was a captain who led by example rather than what you might get from some kids. He was not that sort of all. He was an encourager."

Root is not the only England captain Dore Primary has produced, with Michael Vaughan having also attended.

The school's PE co-ordinator Richard France said: "It’s been a brilliant experience for the children and for every kid to take part in that assembly in whatever way was great. They found out what school life was like for him and the subjects he liked.

"Obviously PE was one but he loved art too which was interesting for them to see. Then to come out here where Joe used to play is brilliant as well.

"Two England captains from one school? Not many other schools can say they have had that.

"We’ve had the Chance to Shine link since 2008 and it does great work; it really is inspiring children to play cricket."

Root said: "I’ve had an amazing day with Yorkshire Tea and Chance to Shine. Coming back to my old school has brought back so many memories of what a brilliant time I had here.

"Cricket has played such an enormous part in my life and I’m so proud to be back here inspiring the next generation of cricketers."

Root was visiting Dore Primary School to launch Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week with Chance to Shine.

Chance to Shine is a national charity on a mission to spread the power of cricket throughout schools and communities.

It takes cricket to new places and uses it to ignite new passions, teach vital skills, unite diverse groups and educate young people throughout England and Wales.

Since 2005 the Chance to Shine Schools programme has helped reverse the decline in the sport in state schools across the country.

Working in close partnership with all 39 county cricket boards and hundreds of local clubs, the initiative has seen three million boys and girls in more than 11,000 schools playing and learning through cricket.

This year it runs Monday to Friday June 19-23. Sign up now at www.chancetoshine.org/ncw_signups

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