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England stars launch Kwik Cricket season in Wales.

Thousands of boys and girls throughout Wales are preparing to take part in the 2014 Kwik Cricket season.

England internationals Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway launched the season with a visit to Glasllwch Primary School in Newport, which won both the mixed and girls South Wales finals last year and progressed to the finals day at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, Nottingham.

Charlotte and Lydia, who are coaching ambassadors with the Chance to Shine programme, joined the youngsters in a game of Kwik Cricket ahead of this year’s competition.

“It was great to meet the girls and boys at Glasllwch Primary School,” said Charlotte, the England women’s captain. “They are really enthusiastic about Kwik Cricket and clearly enjoy it as a fun and accessible introduction to the game.”

Last year 5,800 boys and girls in 560 schools took part in the Mixed Festivals and 110 schools entered the girls-only festival.

Glasllwch won both South Wales competitions, and the girls were runners up in the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) National Finals Day, while the boys lost in their semi- final.

In North Wales, the champions were Ygol Bryn Coch, Mold in the girls competition, and St. Peters CW Primary School, Rosset in the mixed.

The first festival in Wales for 2014 is at Blackwood Cricket Club on May 19.

“Kwik Cricket gives children of all levels of ability and experience the chance to enjoy a fun introduction to cricket,” said Cricket Wales chief executive Peter Hybart. “The Kwik Cricket competitions in Wales are hugely popular, and offer a fantastic way to enjoy the game in a format that can be played in virtually any location.”

The Kwik Cricket Competition is open to state primary and middle schools throughout England and Wales.

Cricket Wales is the national governing body for junior and recreational senior cricket in Wales. It works closely with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, which governs the men’s professional game. For information visit www.cricketwales.org.uk