Busy year for Cricket Shropshire

There’s been a big increase in the numbers taking part in community, schools and women and girls’ cricket in Shropshire over the past 12 months. 

That was the message at Cricket Shropshire’s Annual Meeting which took place at Wrekin College.

Much of that activity has come about after a deliberate strategy of looking for partnership funding to pay for delivery outside of the Board’s traditional income sources.

The number of primary schools in Shropshire has more than doubled to the point Cricket Shropshire coaches had visited more than 80 schools.

Lead Officer Steve Reese told the meeting: “It means we have seen more than 12,000 pupils being able to get a bat in their hands.”

The number of Chance to Shine STREET programmes in Shropshire has increased from four to six.

The Board has also increased the number of partnerships with local councils to provide Summer camps and half-term sessions, especially with Telford & Wrekin Council.

The success of the Board’s Community Programme can be seen from the accolade picked by Community Officer Sacha Lee at the national Chance to Shine awards last year.

A partnership has also been set up with Embrace PE and Brightstar Boxing to deliver projects using sport to provide skills to re-enter the work place for people who have been out of education or long-term unemployed.

These new funding streams has enabled the Board to take on two new coaches and give a full-time role to an apprentice who completed his studies with a distinction.

Steve added: “We have a young team, and it is particularly encouraging to see the growth in these individuals as the business grows, with new opportunities being afforded to them as they gain experience.” 

Switching to the Women and Girls’ game in Shropshire, Steve said: “The growth in the game continues to astound with a 12-month programme now running under our Women & Girls Officer Katie Rushton.

“Summer and Winter indoor leagues have continued to grow and have become firm fixtures on the calendar. The scale of growth can be seen as we now provide a stand-alone Women & Girls’ Presentation Night – which was over-subscribed last year.”

He said the focus for the coming year was to ensure Women & Girls’ sections became embedded in clubs across the county.

The Board’s Disability offer continues to grow and reach all parts of Shropshire with coach Tyler Ibbotson delivering in primary, secondary and further education SEND settings.

Steve said the Board was also committed to work with clubs around the county – the bedrock of the cricket family in Shropshire – helping them survive and thrive in difficult conditions, especially with the recent weather.

Chairman Adrian Collins said: “I have to thank the team led by Steve and my fellow directors for the great job they do. We are constantly looking to improve.

“Our work in EDI and Safeguarding was recognised as excellent by the ECB, and Jennie Goode who joined the Board last year has really made a difference, there is some great work being done.

“Another big success story in Shropshire is our County Pitch Advisors. We now have seven across the county and it is a great initiative. People now know where to go to get support.”

He said this was a significant year for the Board as it looked to agree its new County Partnership Agreement with the ECB for the next four-year cycle.

“Whatever we do, we have to make sure it is in line with our core aims and objectives of sustaining and growing the game of cricket in Shropshire.”

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