Kent Cricket supports Young Leaders in Cricket

Thursday 20th October 2011

Kent Cricket supports Young Leaders in Cricket

Almost 100 cricketers are one step closer to becoming coaches, umpires and grounds people following funded training from the Mayor of London. The milestone was marked with an official ceremony at Lord's cricket ground on Sunday 16th October,with Kent Cricket's Adam Ball presenting Young Leaders with certificates to mark their achievements.

Old Elthamians Cricket Club established its Young Leaders in Cricket programme in 2010 after realising it had many teenage players, but very few teenage volunteers.

The Club’s Junior Chairman, Paul Daniels said; “We wanted them to realise that even 14 and 15 year olds have the ability to help out their club.

“Using a ‘triangle of support’ approach, participants made a written pledge of commitment to the training and volunteering, which was also endorsed by their parents, clubs and schools.”

In January 2011, the club and the Bromley District Development Group invited 100 young people from 11 clubs and five schools in and around Bromley for the programme, using funding from the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund.

Managed by Skills Active’s National Skills Academy, the fund provides London volunteers with up to 75% off the cost of training to deliver a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

For the next three months, the teens spent their evenings and weekends gaining accredited, introductory training in coaching, umpiring, scoring, groundskeeping and first aid in preparation for the summer playing season. They used their 2,000 volunteering hours, recorded and verified using a SkillsActive activepassport, to score and assist in coaching sessions, and umpire junior matches.

Paul says the funded training has been a 'phenomenal success', for both the individuals and the clubs involved; “The Mayor’s Legacy opportunity gave 100 young people the skills, competence and confidence to take up volunteer roles at their local clubs. This increased their capacity and enabled them to deliver an extra 650 junior cricket matches in and around Bromley this year.”

Funding recipient Robert Littlechild, aged 14, commented; “The Young Leaders programme is great because it gives players like me the chance to give something back to our club, and earn credits towards our PE GCSE at the same time. My favourite part of the programme has been passing on my knowledge of the game to the kids I'm coaching.”

Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund project manager Katie Couchman says the Young Leaders in Cricket programme is a shining example of the impact the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund is having in London communities.

“The Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund has created a pathway into coaching and volunteering in amateur sport that would not otherwise be there. London cricket players will benefit from this for years to come.”

Organisers are now looking to extend the Young Leaders in Cricket programme to the neighbouring boroughs of Bexley, Lewisham and Greenwich – and upskill at least half of this year’s recipients to level 1.

To find out more about the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund and the range of discounted training on offer pleaseclick here:Mayor's Sports Legacy Fund