The Devon Cricket Boards Club and Community Coaches have been back in primary schools delivering cricket to over 300 children through September and October.
Schools were obviously facing a number of changes due to Covid-19 but thankfully most were still permitting external visitors. Chance to Shine, who fund much of the coaches work, established a number of delivery offers for schools and produced a risk mitigation document to ensure that coaching could be carried out safely.
In North Devon James Kemp delivered coaching programmes in six primary schools, from Ashleigh and Holywell in Barnstaple to Wilcombe in Tiverton. The whole of Chittlehampton school received cricket coaching, with Bratton Fleming and Kingsacre (Braunton) also benefiting from the free Chance to Shine offer.
The staff at Kingsacre appreciated the flexibility saying “Really enjoy the sessions... good CPD for teachers and the children love it. It’s been a tricky old term to be doing it and James has always been flexible with spaces, timings etc.”
Across the six weeks children spent sessions learning and developing their batting, bowling, throwing and catching skills, which culminated in an Intra Class competition - Team England were the clear winners across the week!
The feedback from the schools was overwhelmingly positive, and they are looking forward to more information about local cricket clubs in the new year.
“All staff commented on how brilliant they felt that Damian was and we are Looking forward to receiving information about Axminster cricket club in the Spring.” Donna Graham, St Andrews
The KS2 children at Culmstock Primary were particularly grateful presenting Damian with a thank you card, with one child describing sessions as ‘the best time in my life’.
There were some challenges in getting into schools in West Devon, however Jonny Varcoe did deliver two full programmes in Wembury Primary and Woodlands Park Primary (Ivybridge). The focus for the KS2 children was batting and bowling skills for the first couple of sessions before progressing into small sided games.
Jonny said, “The kids in both schools were great and it was very pleasing to see them with a smile on their face, even when the weather wasn’t great. The teachers were brilliant and joined in with all activities, especially at Woodlands Park where there was some great competition between pupils and teachers. I look forward to being back at these schools in the spring term for some All Stars and Dynamos promotion.”
The coaches attention now turns to the Girls Secondary School Programme, where they will be delivering cricket tasters and leadership sessions to Years 7-10. The schools that have been booked in through Ann-Marie Presswell are:
Marine Academy (Plymouth)
Newton Abbott College
West Exe School (Exeter)
St James School – (Exeter)
St Peters C of E – (Exeter)
Holsworthy Community College
Great Torrington School