Disability Cricket set for boost in Warrington Area

The ECB Cricket Factory Roadshow was a key feature of the Sports Zone at the recent Disability Awareness Day at Walton Hall. The Cricket Factory aims to demonstrate how accessible the sport of cricket is to all and participants have the opportunity to try a number of key fundamental skills – Throwing – Catching – Batting. Throughout the day over 200 young people and adults, who had never tried the sport before, had a thoroughly engaging introduction to cricket, inspiring a number of them to register an interest in regular coaching sessions at a local club.’

What the participants at junior clubs and schools had to say

Junior training sessions at clubs (Newton CC and Mottram CC)

Kwik Cricket festivals across Tameside (Hyde CC, Mottram CC, Denton St Lawrence CC, Ashton CC)

Owen, aged 10. Tameside Under 11s: “I really enjoyed using the Cricket Factory Skills set. The springy net helped with my reaction catches which is good for my wicket keeping.”

Luke, aged 11. Tameside Under 11s: “It was good to have a practice session with new, colourful equipment. The coaches let us make up our own fielding games, which was more fun than catching hard balls!”

Sean, aged 9. Newton Cricket Club: “We used the Cricket Factory at our club training and it was brill. We changed our fielding games to fit in with the spring catch and targets and I like it a lot.”

Matt, aged 11. Mottram Cricket Club: “I played with the Cricket Factory at the Kwik Cricket tournament at our club. The coach showed us how to use it and we played in between matches so we were not bored of waiting. It was lots of fun.”

Mike Scott, junior coordinator. Mottram Cricket Club: “We have had access to the Fundamentals Skill Set this summer which has helped us to devise new and interesting sessions for the younger players at the club. They really seem to love the catching net and we also set up some relay races which they seemed to enjoy.”

Emily, aged 9. Hollingworth Primary School: “Our coach let us play with the Cricket Factory instead of doing fielding practice. It was fun and challenging. I liked hitting the balls at the target areas and scoring points.”

Howzat for a Warm-up?

By Gareth Moorhouse, Coaching & Development Officer, Cheshire Cricket Board LTD.

WHENEVER I mention the words ‘warm up’ and ‘preparation’ to a group of young cricketers in Cheshire I am often met with a look of indignation usually reserved for hot school dinners.

The scene is the same everywhere I go – slumped shoulders and expressionless faces as I try to spell out the importance of preparing the body for the physical and mental challenges that lie ahead.

In truth, warm-ups have always been a hard sell, with even the most enthusiastic young performers are usually desperate to move straight into a game situation.

Since April this year, however, this carefree attitude towards pre-match routines has been completely reversed, thanks largely to our association with the ECB Cricket Factory.

Utilising the excellent Fundamental Skills Set, the Cheshire development staff have adapted some of our traditional warm-up themes to incorporate this revolutionary coaching equipment.

Combining the kit with other products like agility ladders, hurdles and wobble boards, we have created a skills circuit which promotes the core athletic principles of agility, balance, coordination and speed, while also providing that vital element of competition.

Turning up first thing in the morning at one of our courses you would think you had stumbled on a miniature (and much safer!) version of It’s a Knockout.

The best thing about doing warm-ups with the Fundamental Skills Set is that the kids don’t actually realise they are doing a warm-up. The learning is interactive and challenging and it leaves them wanting more – now it’s the games that we’re struggling to squeeze in.

I have used the Fundamentals set in both school and club settings and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The most popular parts are definitely the catching net and action targets, while the children seem fascinated by the Drill Cube and are always finding new ways to use it.

Sport by its very nature is a competitive environment but we also have to find ways to make it fun.

I hope the creators Factory Eleven continue to develop this product further, and I will certainly be pestering them for another Fundamental Skills Set so we can continue to deliver the message that ‘warm-ups can be fun’ to a much wider cricketing audience.

For further information please contact:

Gareth Moorhouse, Coaching and Development Officer
Phone: 07875 315193
Website: www.cheshirecricketboard.co.uk