Cricket has seen a revival in Dawlish thanks to Robin Poole who, with the help of Devon Cricket, has set up Dynamos Cricket sessions for local kids.

Cricket hasn't been played at Sandy Lane since 2008, when a shortage of people willing to run Dawlish and Teignmouth CC led to its closure at the end of the season. Prior to the club's closure, Sandy Lane had been used to play cricket since the 1930s, with Dawlish having a long cricketing tradition dating back to the 19th century.

"I moved to Dawlish last year and I saw we had an amazing cricket field here, but it wasn't being used for cricket," says Robin, who has led the movement to reestablish the sport in the town. "I reached out to Devon Cricket as they visited my daughter's school and they've been fantastic."

Robin has been joined by his daughter, Audrey, in running the sessions.Originally, Robin reached out to Devon Cricket to help set up a one-off cricket day at Sandy Lane but, thanks to funding from the England and Wales Cricket Board, in partnership with Sky Sports; this quickly changed into an eight-week Dynamos Cricket programme, supported by South Devon Club & Community Coach, Niall Leahy.

"Once Alex [Jopling] and Niall put that offer on the table I thought: we've got to take this! We've got to make this happen for the children of Dawlish because cricket is a great sport for getting different generations together."

This has turned out to be true not just for the players, but on the coaching side too, as Robin's daughter, Audrey, has been helping him and Niall run the Dynamos sessions.

"Devon Cricket have really lived their values by bringing cricket to an area of Devon that has not had any organised provision for a long time. Niall has been terrific with the youngsters, they really listen to him and have learnt a lot in a short space of time, many of them had not played cricket before at all and the improvement in just a few weeks is fantastic to see."

Devon Cricket's Niall Leahy has been supporting the sessions.

Robin has also greatly appreciated the help Teignbridge District Council and their Green Spaces Team have provided, without which Dynamos in Dawlish could not have happened.

"They have been really helpful! The council’s grounds maintenance contractors, Idverde, have marked out the cricket pitch for the first time in years. They have even had enquiries from passers-by about booking the pitch!

"From the first phone call I had with the Green Spaces Team they have genuinely wanted to see this initiative happen for the children of Dawlish and have offered encouragement and support at each stage."

The sessions have also helped build links with local schools, with students from both Westcliff Primary Academy and Gatehouse Primary Academy joining in:

"Through Devon Cricket we were able to reach out to the two Dawlish primary schools, Westcliff and Gatehouse Primary Academies, and offer the programme free of charge to girls and boys aged between 8 and 12 years old. Both schools were very supportive and helped to promote the initiative and the result is that the Dynamos programme has children from across both schools."

The Dynamos sessions have proven to be popular with kids and parents alike, with one parent, Camilla, saying: "It's been brilliant. My 8-year-old son has absolutely loved it. He really looks forward to coming here and it's just been great. It's been well organised and lots of fun. I've actually enjoyed getting stuck in and helping out!"

"All the children are really enjoying it," says Robin. "We're getting really good feedback from the parents that they're enjoying it."

With regards to the future of cricket in Dawlish, Robin isn't getting carried away just yet: "I just want to see cricket played on this field. In the future, who knows? Setting up a club here would be awesome, but let's take one step at a time!"

If you would be interested in helping grow cricket in Dawlish, please get in touch with Robin via

For further information about facilities and green spaces in Teignbridge, please get in touch with the Teignbridge Green Spaces Team on 01626 215751 or via email.