Our Club & Community Coaches have been busy once again delivering our schools programmes across the county during the first few months of 2024.

We caught up with each of them to provide an update on where they have been delivering our programmes in Terms 3 and 4.

If you are a school or club looking for support promoting and delivering cricket, please get in touch with your local community coach.

North Devon

credit: West Croft School

The Winter Term brought plenty of new experiences and challenges with a very busy Schools programme, developing new playing opportunities and promoting National Programmes (All Stars and Dynamos).

In Term 3, multi-week programmes were delivered at Marland (Primary and Secondary) and Pathfield Special Schools, Haywards and Landscore Primary Schools (both in Crediton) and the first part of the Year 9 Girls Leadership at South Molton Community College. Plus, there was also time to squeeze in a one-day taster at Georgeham Primary School and regular visits to Bideford CC, Braunton CC and North Devon CC to support junior training sessions.

Delivering sessions in Special Schools was something new for me, even though I have only 18 years of school-based coaching on the clock. Adapting activities and experimenting with new delivery methods was a refreshing experience but with the support of Lewis Fountain (Super1s Disability Development Officer), PE leads at the Schools and some really enthusiastic pupils, I think the sessions proved very successful.

credit: West Croft SchoolTerm 4 can be summed as 'pedal to the metal' with 25 different Schools in 30 days, Teachers CPD at Holsworthy Primary School, Girls Leadership and Taster Days at Holsworthy Community College (with Ann-Marie Presswell (Women and Girls' Development Officer), DCF Girls' Hub in Bideford and partnership working with Chulmleigh CC to re-start junior cricket in the town. 

Schools engagement included six-week programmes at Caen (Braunton), and St. George’s and St. Margaret’s Primary Schools (both in Northam), along with 14 one-day tasters at Ashleigh (Barnstaple), Bradworthy, Clawton, Combe Martin, Fremington,  Hartland, Hatherleigh, Holywell (Tawstock), High Bickington, Horwood and Newton Tracey, Instow, Morchard Bishop, Shebbear, Umberleigh and West Croft (Bideford). I have to admit at times it felt like 'Groundhog Day'.

The seven-week Girls’ Hub in Bideford provided a great opportunity for girls either new to or in the early developmental stages of their cricketing journey. The 13 girls, aged between 10 and 14, that attended the coaching sessions were able to be supported in developing their key skills including building towards using hardballs. The girls were always willing to push themselves just that bit further each week as their confidence levels grew. Special mention to Hannah Steadman from Holsworthy CC who shared the coaching duties and built a great repour with the girls.

Martin with Hannah Steadman at the Girls' Hubs Meet at the University of Exeter.The Chulmleigh CC project is an exciting one as we look to re-establish junior cricket opportunities in the town this summer. We ran two 'Come and Try' days in the February half-term and Easter holiday periods with over 20 children attending each time at either a session for School Years 1-3 or 4-6. Getting this project up and running would not have been successful without the full support and involvement of the Club, the Chulmleigh Academy Trust, Primary Schools in the surrounding area, Filleigh CC and the Chulmleigh YFC. We are looking forward to launching both All Stars and Dynamos programmes on Friday, May 17.  

The Spring/Summer Term is shaping up to be crazy busy with Schools Programmes, Schools Festivals and Competitions, After-School Clubs, Sports Leaders training, National Programmes, Club Development visits (including supporting new Women's Softball Cricket initiatives at Barnstaple & Pilton CC and Bideford CC). Hoping it's going to be fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun!  

"Martin was professional and took time to build a rapport with the children. He engaged all learners and had a fantastic way to deliver each session.

"The children thoroughly enjoyed each session and would have loved to continue."

West Devon

With the start of a new year, the cricket season felt fast approaching and the school delivery didn’t stop, providing me with fun and exciting opportunities. With the start of new Whole School Programmes and an MCC Foundation Hub starting.

During the first half of Term 2, I was running Whole School Programmes in Goosewell Primary Academy (Plymstock), Mount Street Primary (Plymouth), Ivybridge Community College and Stoke Damerel Community College. It was good to start going into secondary schools to run girls' programmes for the first time since joining the Foundation. They provided me with a different challenge of keeping the girls engaged in cricket.

I also started running an MCC Foundation Hub for girls who go to state schools. It was great to provide hardball cricket to some girls who haven’t been able to access it before. All the girls made great progress and will be getting match and festival opportunities alongside the other hubs in the future.

The second half term saw the start of engagement days and the start of promotion of All Stars and Dynamos for clubs, with the continued work on Super1s, the MCC Foundation Hub and Whole School Programmes.

It was a busy half term which saw me going into 13 different schools for Engagement days. Engagement days are a great way of drawing interest from children to sign up to their local All Stars and Dynamos centres, with fun and engaging games for one day to spark their interest in cricket.

I had two Whole School Programmes running during this term as well. One programme was at Millbay Academy for a secondary programme, which was a challenging programme as the school is in the heart of Plymouth with no outdoor space. So, providing a programme with a whole year of girls at one time in their sports hall provided a different challenge keeping the girls engaged in the sessions. 

My other Whole School Programme was at South Brent Primary School. The weather wasn’t always on our side when providing the sessions, but the school were accommodating and provided the relevant space and we were able to provide the same sessions inside.

"Jack is really good with our children and it has been nice they to see their skills develop. A buzz went round the hall when he came and did his assembly.”

East Devon

The Winter Term bought many challenges, with the main one being the weather! Lots of rain, lots of engagement days and lots of happy children getting the opportunity to play some cricket.

Delivery during this term has seen me cover areas all over East Devon, from Tiverton to Upottery and Exmouth to Kilmington.

Whole School Programmes have been delivered in: Willowbank (Cullompton), Countess Wear (Topsham St James), Kilmington and Shute.

The main focus of my delivery has been engagement days and assemblies, highlighting all of the fantastic cricket opportunities clubs are offering this summer. These days see us go in and deliver fun cricket sessions, along with an assembly, and it’s been great to see so many happy faces. The 20 schools visited were;


Bampton (Assembly)

All Saints (Assembly)



Lady Sewards




Exwick Heights

St Mary’s

Littleham (Assembly)

Stoke Hill Infants


The Duchy


The Topsham School

St Andrews

Bassetts Farm

Offwell (Assembly)


One of the highlights of the Winter Term was the day we spent at Stoke Hill Infants, working with young leaders from Stoke Hill Junior School (Year 6s) who helped to deliver all of the activities to the younger children. They did an amazing job over the four sessions, making sure that all of the children had lots of fun, were active, and all had lots of goes.

And it’s not just Primary School delivery….

A five-week block of SEN delivery at Mill Water School, along with Secondary Indoor Regional and county finals, and delivering on the new DCF Girls Hub at Bicton College. It was great to work with a group of girls that were so engaged and energetic. This six-week programme finished with an MCCF/DCF Girls Hub day at the University, where the girls from all four hubs were invited to attend a day of coaching and indoor games.

"Thank you so much for running such a fantastic day for our children. They all really enjoyed it and the feedback was really positive from teachers too!"

"I've had only positive feedback from staff and children. We all felt it was a really successful day so thankyou for all you did!"

South Devon

2024 in South Devon began with various programmes and events being run. In January I delivered 2 Whole School Programmes, one SEND programme, two Secondary school indoor cricket events and started our new 10-week girls-only MCC Foundation Hub at St Cuthbert Mayne School.

My two Whole School Programmes took me to Kingskerswell Primary School to work with the Year 2 classes. This was a very enjoyable programme: the classes were really engaged and every week got stuck into the sessions even when the weather wasn’t brilliant.

Abbotskerswell is a school who have engaged with our schools offer a few times over my time in the role so it was great to return to the school and see some familiar faces that I have worked with before. Once again, the programme was very enjoyable with pupils and teachers coming out with a great attitude to all the sessions.

In between Whole School Programmes, we visited Orchard Manor as part of our SEND delivery. This programme involved working with different year groups from Year 5 to Year 11, as well as running a lunchtime club. This was so popular the first week that we had to split the session into two groups to accommodate everyone.

Away from the school delivery in January, we started running our new girls-only MCCF Hub. The aim of this hub was to provide high-quality winter coaching for girls who are currently not involved in the performance pathway. The focus was on Introducing players to hardball cricket and feeding into local girls' sections, as well as providing more coaching opportunities for players who might not have had access to performance coaching over the winter.

This programme would not have been possible without the support of Steph Hutchins and Amy Farr, who helped deliver this programme every week. Over the 10 weeks, the change in confidence levels, as well as the improvement in their skills, was great to see.

Along with running our MCCF Hubs we also started our new Chance to Shine Street Hubs. This is aimed at 16-24 young adults. Chance to Shine Street Cricket is fast, fun, and free. It's played with a tape ball and requires no protective equipment.

After the February half term, our Engagement Day school offer took up most of the half term, with one Whole School Programme being delivered at Chudleigh Primary School.

Our Engagement days are one-off days in schools delivering cricket and promoting the opportunities to get involved at the local cricket clubs outside of school. Over this half term, I visited 15 different schools for engagement days (Starcross, South Tawton, Brixham, Ipplepen, Cockington, Dartington, Kingsbridge, Roselands, Ilsham, Shiphay, Oldway, All Saints Marsh, Rydon, Hazeldown & Shaldon).

"The weather was appalling and yet Niall did not let it phase him. He adapted and created very engaging drills for all of the children to dive into. Their engagement was down to the speedy and well delivered session by Niall.

"All feedback from all of the children and staff was very positive and they asked whether we could have Niall back in the future."

"We absolutely love having Niall in and he is great at challenging lots of our already fairly accomplished cricketers. He delivers sessions that are appropriate and engaging for all and can adapt to any situation and weather."

Looking for support promoting and delivering cricket? Please get in touch with your local community coach.