Young people in South Somerset bowled over by the success of cricket programme
With the Ashes series on the horizon, South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has worked in partnership with Somerset Cricket Foundation to deliver exciting sessions to more than 1500 children and young people over the past 6 months.
Working with 21 schools across the district, Somerset Cricket Foundation has offered sessions from April to October. These have ranged from engagement days where coaches give each class a taster session to six week blocks of activities.
Pictured: Mark Watts, Coach, Somerset Cricket Foundation
Councillor Mike Best, portfolio holder for Health and Well-being, said: “I’m delighted that this partnership has delivered sessions to hundreds of young people – many of whom have never played cricket before. With this in mind, there has been specific targeting of young people with disabilities, girls and also a strong focus on the mental health benefits that sport can offer.
“It’s also pleasing to see so many schools participate despite the challenging situation with Covid-19. I’m sure that children really welcomed such a positive activity in a fun environment.”
However, the fun and learning wasn’t only for young people. The coaches also worked closely with teachers and gave them ideas and confidence to help make cricket sustainable in school. In addition to this training, Somerset Cricket Foundation also ran specific teacher CPD sessions to help more teachers spread the power of cricket within their PE lessons.
Scott Chappell, Schools and Coaching Manager at Somerset Cricket Foundation, said: “Our partnership with SSDC has enabled us to spread the power of cricket further and to more young people and adults than we would have been able to do by ourselves. Not only have we been able to work with local schools but have also been able to impact local communities as well. We look forward to this partnership continuing to offer more fantastic opportunities to people within South Somerset.
“Alongside our work in schools we also run weekly community sessions for young people with disabilities aged 12-25. These ‘Super 1’s’ sessions not only enable young people with disabilities to access cricket but also help to teach them many invaluable life skills. The disability opportunities also expanded over the summer with a series of sessions at Yeovil Cricket Club for adults with disabilities from local groups.”
Feedback from the schools has been overwhelmingly positive and Greenfylde School in Ilminster commented: “The coach was friendly and personable. He got to know names very quickly which the children loved. He was patient and gave really clear instructions. We would have loved it if he could have stayed even longer.”
List of Activities delivered from April to October 2021
- Super 1s (disability sessions for 12-25 year olds) @ Yeovil Cricket Club now at Westfield School through the winter (12 players)
- Adult disability cricket with ‘The Hub’, ‘Able to Achieve’ and ‘Discover UK’ (15 participants) @ Yeovil CC for 4 weeks
- Supported Chard CC set up their own disability cricket hub called the Chard Raptors (5 participants currently)
- Worked with ‘Chard Watch’ delivering an afternoon of cricket to improve health and wellbeing of the vulnerable adults they support
- Worked with Westfield School to deliver the ‘Holiday Food Programme’ initiative (delivering 4 sessions)
- Dynamos Plus with Westfield School – trained 2 activators to deliver Dynamos (4 week cricket coaching for children aged 8-11 on free school meals during the summer holidays) approx. 15 participants
- Working with Chard CC and Long Sutton CC to develop volunteers as ‘Wellbeing Champions’ which aims to make cricket clubs a mentally heathy place to play cricket
- Supported Broadway and Horton, North Perrott and Chard cricket clubs with female delivery