Guernsey targeting unexplored areas to maximise participation

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 1:16 PM

The Guernsey Cricket Board (GCB) in 2012 looked to target participation through previously unexplored areas and then to provide opportunities for those participants to take up the game in structured environments, all through ICC Europe’s Regional Support.

The GCB planned to do this with several development initiatives, a CATS Year 1&2 Programme, a Year 3-6 Junior School Programme, Year 7-10 Secondary School Programme, a Disability & Special Needs Programme and a Women & Girls Participation Programme.

The CATS (Catching, Agility, Throwing & Striking) Programme was aimed at mass participation in school years 1 & 2, to help increase junior participation and then encourage the participants to feed into the GCB coaching, extracurricular cricket and junior league programmes. It’s been a great success as it has ensured that youngsters get a positive experience of cricket at an early age. This has been invaluable on an Island where sport is seen as massively important and associating those sessions with fun and enjoyment means that cricket will become a first choice for many of them. This is clear to see with the positive numbers participating in the U7 sessions, which build on a lifelong love of the game.

The Secondary Schools Programme has now established itself within the school calendar and there are two committed teachers from the schools who will be assisting to run representative sides going forward. Mindsets have been changed with all schools now seen as ‘a cricket school’ and it is enabling more children to play and have given them the pathway from the school environment into the representative teams.

The intake of new cricketers to the local leagues has risen and continues to rise through this coaching. There are now 4 leagues running in secondary schools with all 5 schools taking part. These competitions started during the last week of April. This year it started representative secondary school teams in years 7 & 8 and 9 & 10 where each school nominates 4 players in each age bracket to play against several visiting schools that Guernsey Cricket Board have brought to the Island.

The Adult Disabilities Coaching Programme involved over players attending coaching over a 6-week programme during the summer. Funding has already been sourced for a representative team/teams to go off Island to play in 2013 and a Table Cricket Programme will start in January/February 2013. Disability Cricket in Guernsey has gained huge momentum at both the junior and adult levels.

Girls and Women Participation which is a big target in 2013, has had a positive year with Hannah Mechem, specifically targeting Girls Cricket during her Summer Term employment with the Guernsey Cricket Board. Four junior schools run girls only after-school clubs. The Junior School extra-curricular girls tournament 2012 which involved 8 schools and secondary school cricket had structured lunchtime clubs. The Women’s Programme will start in early January 2013 where an indoor cricket competition will be run followed by coaching opportunities.

The GCB will be placing particular emphasis on Women & Girls Cricket and moving the participation numbers towards playing. 2013 will also see a revamp of the Cricket Roadshow to encompass extra activities, the continuation of the CATS initiative, the introduction of a Talent ID programme within the Junior School Programme, further development of the Disabilities Programme and the development of Secondary School Representative Cricket and visiting teams/off-Island matches.

Overall, cricket looks very exciting in Guernsey for 2013.

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