Garstang CC looks to bring through the next generation of players

Garstang CC has announced a three-step plan beginning next month to get more children playing cricket.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Garstang CC's Michael Walling Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society

The club has teamed up with five primary schools and Garstang Academy to deliver introductory sessions to the sport.

They will be taken by first XI player and ECB level three coach Danny Gilbert, in line with Covid-19 guidelines laid down.

Outlining the plan, club chairman Michael Walling said: “We’ve partnered up with the six schools and we’re paying for a coach to go in there and deliver a programme, so they will have had an introduction to cricket.

“We’re aiming at years four to six in the primary schools and year seven in the academy.

“We thought we’d focus on five or six schools first and do it really well, so that will start on April 12 subject to government guidance.

“If it goes as planned, that will lead nicely into step two.”

That second step is using the ECB’s All Stars and Dynamos initiatives for youngsters aged between five and 11, running alongside the club’s existing junior programme.

All Stars is a course for children aged between five and eight, where they gain experience of the sport with an hour-long session every week for eight weeks.

The Dynamos programme is for youngsters aged eight to 11, who have either graduated from the All Stars course or who have no prior experience of playing cricket.

The hope is it will be a win-win scenario for children and the Garstang club.

It gives children the chance to take part in organised sport, while if they enjoy it sufficiently and want to continue, the club sees its junior ranks boosted.

Walling said: “It’s about offering something to kids and getting them back active.

“I think they are the ones who have been hit hardest by the pandemic and the lockdown rules.

“When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be outside and playing sport but they haven’t had organised sport.

“The initial idea came last year and part of it was we wanted to create links with the schools.

“Hopefully this works well, and if everything goes as we expect, the hope is to get them back involved.”

The final step is the club’s investment at their Riverside base with £15,000 spent on new practice facilities.

“We’ve spent that money on new nets and facilities to make it better and safer,” Walling said.

“That’s a massive expense for the club but it shows we have commitment to the future, which is the kids.

“There’s no point worrying about the first team if we aren’t investing in the kids because we want them to come through and continue into the senior sides.”

Any schools interested in linking up with Garstang for the introductory sessions, or seeking further information, can contact Walling on 07815 914890.

Anyone interested in joining the All Stars or Dynamo programmes, or requiring more details, can email [email protected]

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