County Cricket Board Review

In the rural setting of South Dorset, providing competitive cricket for primary school children has always posed something of a challenge. Dwindling pupil numbers coupled with the vast distances between school sites has made regular fixture arrangements something of a lottery to say the least.

South Dorset District Association head coach Rob Newton believes he may have found the solution, however, thanks to the introduction of a revolutionary coaching tool, the Cricket Factory Fundamental Skills Set.The colourful five-piece equipment package has been used to construct a cricket skills circuit challenge, with children from a cluster of South Dorset primary schools battling it out to record the highest score.

Rob explained: “Where I work in Dorset is a very rural area, and the children weren’t getting enough inter-cricket against other primary schools. The main issue was a lack of pupil numbers and an inability to travel the long distances to other venues to play school matches. Instead, we used the Cricket Factory equipment to create a skills circuit challenging for the children to improve their fundamental movements. We designed a scoring system which allows children to compete against their friends, and also against other schools. It was important for us to find another way of delivering intra and inter-cricket schemes as part of the Chance to Shine schools coaching scheme.

“This circuit has proved extremely popular, and with the help of the local SSCO and young leaders we have rolled it out across the region.” He added: We’re hoping to continue the circuit when the new academic year begins in September.”

A full-time employee of the Dorset Cricket Board, Rob holds several coaching roles within the county, including working with emerging players and running the Girls under 13 and under 15 teams.The local primary schools are also benefitting from his experience, and as Rob explains the cricket is not confined to the school playing field or sports hall. “This summer, as part of the Chance to Shine scheme, we took the cricket skills circuit challenge to the beach,” he revealed. “Primary schools from the local authority in Poole brought children down to Sandbanks on the Studland Peninsula for a day of sports activities. The aim of the day was to promote the beach as more than a place to just lie and sun bathe. There were plenty of sports on offer, including touch rugby and of course the Cricket Factory circuit. It was a great day out, and another terrific example of how the Fundamental Skills Set can be used across a wide range of community settings.”

Rob’s association with Cricket Factory has been a long-standing and successful one. His club side, Broadstone CC, were one of the first to receive a Fundamental Skills Set. “My club were fortunate enough to be presented with the first version of what is now the Cricket Factory Fundamentals pack. It is a fantastic product, which allows the children to create their own drills and games as well as tackle the obstacles and challenges that the coaches create.”

In a rural district like South Dorset, Rob realises he cannot possibly service the entire cricketing population without enlisting the help of others. It is thanks largely to the interactive and accessible nature of the Cricket Factory products that Rob is able to nurture the next generation of community cricket coaches. He explained: “In Dorset, some schools combine primary and middle schools, so you can have year eight and year three pupils learning on the same site. In this situation, we have been able to develop the older children as young leaders, and they have helped to explain how to use the equipment to the younger ones. It gives the school a great sense of community and is an excellent tool for developing the leadership skills of the older pupils. I hope to see this scheme expand in the future, with more and more children having access to the Cricket Factory and its excellent range of products.”

For further information please contact:

Rob Newton, Development Officer
Office: 01202 881349