THE focus for the Devon Cricket Board's club and community coaches in term two was on girls' secondary schools. Through Chance to Shine funding schools were offered a comprehensive programme of taster sessions, leadership training and support with setting up an after-school-club.

The introduction of a second National Lockdown in November did mean a number of schools could not welcome external coaches so had to postpone their sessions. The coaches are now working hard to get these rearranged. 

In North Devon, James Kemp began with taster sessions at Braunton Academy and Great Torrington School with year seven, eight and nine pupils. These then developed into giving the girls opportunities to deliver their own cricket activities. Further leadership days are booked for later in the year to build on this term's work.

James was ably supported by women and girls' development officer Ann-Marie Presswell who visited Holsworthy Community College and Okehampton College as well as taking on the organisation of booking the programmes in across the County.

Ann-Marie said: “We have delivered a lot of taster sessions to girls in school, ahead of us returning in the late Spring term to run our leadership days so that girls can start and run their own cricket clubs with the support of school staff and Devon Cricket. This all links perfectly to the Chance to Compete Competition that we run in the summer term.” 

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you and James for coming in to deliver the programme; I have had such positive feedback from staff about how well the sessions were received from the pupils and it was very evident from walking past the sports hall on several occasions that the girls were thoroughly enjoying it.”

Great Torrington School 

“I just wanted to thank you ever so much for your time and coaching. Speaking to our staff this afternoon, we are very much of the opinion that it was a really worthwhile block and our students got a lot out of it.”

Braunton Academy

Damian Price visited St James School in Exeter to deliver the first part of the Secondary Schools Girls programme. The girls worked on their batting and bowling skills, along with having a chance to umpire and score during some of the activities.

Damian enjoyed working with staff and students. He said: “It was also great to spend a morning with the PE staff at the school, to deliver some teacher CPD. I am now looking forward to delivering the second part of the programme, leadership, at St James.”

Jonny Varcoe took on schools in both West and South Devon during term two. Marine Academy in Plymouth benefited from a teacher CPD session followed by curriculum taster sessions for KS3 pupils, many of whom had never played cricket before.  

Sessions at Newton Abbot College were with a smaller group of gifted and talented girls in years seven, eight and nine. For many it was still their first experience of cricket.  Jonny was impressed with the girls' attitude and skills. He said: “We looked at the skills required to play, along with some leadership and basic umpiring/scoring. The girls were fantastic and really threw to themselves into it. The hope is to return to run an after-school club in the summer.”

Next term the majority of delivery will be back in primary schools, though there is still capacity for secondary girls activity in North and West Devon. If you are interested in any school coaching then you can find out more and contact us HERE.

Schools booked in for after Christmas are:
St Peters (Budleigh Salterton)
The Beacon (Exmouth)
Stoke Canon (Thorverton)
Elburton (Plymstock)
Ilfracombe Infants 
Paignton Academy (Girls' Programme)