Brixton-based Cruiserweight star Isaac Chamberlain this week teamed up with the ACE Programme to highlight the importance of sport in keeping children and young people on the right path.
Isaac, nickname ‘IC’, visited The Kia Oval yesterday and met with ACE Programme Director Chevy Green alongside a couple of the ACE Programme’s brightest prospects.
After a tour of The Kia Oval that took in the Micky Stewart Member’s Pavilion, the breathtaking views of the Galadari Stand and a trip into the centre of one of the most famous pitches in cricket, Isaac decided he wanted to try his hand at England’s Summer sport.
It was a ropey start for the local lad, as his instincts to try and whack the ball as hard as he could saw him miss more than he hit.
Surrey fast-bowler Nathan Barnwell landed a couple of heavy blows to Chamberlain’s unprotected upper thigh, leading to howls of anguish, before the Brixton bruiser began to get a feel for his new sport.
Once he’d learnt the basics, ‘IC’ moved on to a special masterclass with Surrey Head Coach Gareth Batty on the bowling machine.
With the machine set to 60mph, Isaac soon got his rhythm and began spraying the ball all over the Ken Barrington Centre – at one point nearly smashing the lens of an unsuspecting photographer!
Bowling proved an easier skill for the hulking giant, and he was quickly turning his arm over well enough for the onlooking Chevy Green to proclaim he could be a quality bowler within “two weeks.”
It wasn’t all fun and games, though, and after Isaac had proved his credentials as an aspiring cricketer, he introduced the ACE Programme representatives to delegates from another charity closer to home: Gloves Up Knives Down.
David Edgell, Gloves Up Knives Down co-founder, spoke with Isaac and Chevy about the work they all do in trying to use sport as a way of keeping vulnerable young people from going down a path they later regret.
Asked what advice he’d give young people today, Chamberlain said: “Find something you love and go hard, try as hard as you can to just chase that dream. You’ve got to find your passion and follow it all the way.”
After an exchange of branded merchandise, including a boxing starter kit for the ACE Programme, Isaac was able to return home to nurse his bruises and contemplate his future in Cricket.
Take a look at images from a brilliant day at The Kia Oval below: