Shepherd Trust grant gets Babbacombe's next generation in the nets

The view from the pavilion at Babbacombe

A £300 grant from the David Shepherd Cricket Trust has been put to work preparing Babbacombe’s young players for the season ahead.

Youth cricket only resumed at Walls Hill in 2015 having been neglected for many years.

The Trust gave the club a helping hand with a grant for youth coaching last year and has made a top-up award for winter coaching.

Paul Bates, the junior cricket co-ordinator, said the grant was a real boost for the club.

“We are indebted to the David Shepherd Cricket Trust for the grant, which enabled us to provide winter coaching for our growing junior section,” said Bates.

“For the second year running the club has been able to invite local youngsters to sessions in preparation for playing competitive, hard-ball cricket in the South Devon Youth Cricket League.

“These grants have been vitally important in getting youth cricket re-established at Babbacombe.”

Babbacombe, who have around 30 young players, plan to run teams at under-13 and under-15 level in this season’s youth league.

Bates said the two previous seasons have already produced players of the future.

“Two of our junior players have already represented the club at senior level,” said Bates.

“To see home-grown talent representing the club is very rewarding.”

Matt Kierman has played for the 2nd XI, and Matt and Harry Cocker have played for the Sunday league side.

Bates added a word of thanks to kit sponsors The Training Partnership, whose support means ‘the players look the part’.

Babbacombe’s winter training continues at Spires Academy in Torquay on Tuesday evenings from 6pm for children in school years six, seven and eight who might be interested in learning the game with a view to playing some competitive hard-ball cricket this year.

 Anyone interested in training should contact Paul Bates

Richard Wyatt-Haines, the secretary of the DSCT, said trustees are delighted with the progress Babbacombe are making.

“This is just the sort of enterprise the Trust wants to support – getting more young people playing our great game,” said Wyatt-Haines.

“One of the reasons we started offering follow-up grants was to help clubs keep winter coaching going for more than a year.”

To qualify for the top-up grant, Babbacombe recruited five new members for the Trust.

The David Shepherd Cricket Trust relies on membership subscriptions and support for its fund-raising ventures to plough around £20,000 a year into youth cricket in Devon.

For details of how to join the Trust, or apply for a grant, visit their website, www.dsct111.org.uk