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Jenni Jackson: Preparation has been intense

Saturday 2nd May 2015

Women

Kent bowler Jenni Jackson is studying for a PGCE in Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University, the Major Sponsors of the Kent Cricket Women’s team and talks us through the preparations for the season, starting this weekend at The County Ground, Beckenham…

A really significant event in the past six months is the new partnership between the University and Kent Cricket. Having support from such a well-known institution in Kent is a really great step for us as a team.

As part of the sponsorship deal we will be wearing new coloured kits to use in upcoming seasons, similar to that worn by the Men’s team and each player will be able to choose their own squad number. I have chosen the number 11, my lucky number since I was a kid.

As we are hoping to retain the Royal London County Championship this season and our preparation has been suitably intense. There is really strong competition for places in the squad this year, and everyone is hoping to impress the selectors.

This season will be a great challenge for us, as the members of the squad who also play for England will be away on international duty and a lot of responsibility will fall onto other players like myself.

Everyone has to be right on top of their game and winter nets have been of a very good standard – great preparation for the season.

For me, it has been difficult to fit training around academic responsibilities.

I am proud to be a Sports Scholar at the University, a scheme that provides support to students from CCCU who play sport at County level or above.

Once accepted on to the scheme I was invited to an awards ceremony, where the other scholars and I were presented certificates by Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond.

It was a great night, where I was able to share my experience of being invited to Buckingham Palace as part of the winning team in 2014.

As part of my course I have to complete two full-time teaching placements. This means that I am effectively a full-time teacher with lesson plans, paper work and observations coming out of my ears.

Add to that the university assignments, Sports Scholar duties and a part-time job to help pay the bills, finding time to train has been tricky.

I’ve had some great support from the University with one-to-one sessions with ex-Zimbabwe international Mark Dekker and sessions with the strength and conditioning team to reduce my risk of injury over the season.

I am feeling confident for the upcoming season, and it is definitely going to be an exciting one with the opportunity to play at first-class grounds including the Kia Oval.

Another highlight is the Kia Test between England and Australia Women at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence from August 11 to 14, there is a lot to look forward to for both players and fans.

Entry to Kent Women’s home fixtures is included in all Kent Cricket Memberships. Non-members pay £5 on the gate (free for under 16s and Canterbury Christ Church University students).

Women’s Kia Test tickets are available to buy at www.kentcricket.co.uk