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Since the return of cricket early in July our team of Community Cricket Coaches have been out and about supporting 27 clubs* across Somerset to get people playing the game again.

In summers gone by our community coaches would be busy running holiday camps for young people up and down the county. Our priority during the 2020 summer was to support our clubs to deliver cricket safely and we decided to utilise the coaching team to play their part.

Clubs requested support for junior coaching, small group coaching, women and girls coaching and coach mentoring to ensure their members would be able to play and we have been delighted to assist.

For the community coaches the opportunity to go out into clubs and work with the players and coaches highlighted the brilliant coaching and activities that takes place in clubs across Somerset. Sophie Luff, who has been a community coach in the county for over four years  said ‘the passion and enthusiasm of club coaches and the work they do in their clubs is fantastic to see’. Andrew Skidmore, who has been a community coach for nearly six years echoed Sophie’s comment and went on to say, ‘seeing how excited and happy the children have been to be back playing cricket is testament to the hard work that clubs have done ensuring that it was possible this season’.

The additional support for clubs appears to have gone down very well. Debbie from Hampset CC who had Alex Taylor visit the club for three weeks of junior coaching said ‘the coach support made the difference between no youth cricket, and in total contrast an incredible late summer of cricketing opportunities’.

In addition to coaching support for clubs our League and Club Support Officer, Matt Counsell, has been supporting our clubs to stay solvent during the pandemic. In Somerset 99 clubs have received £758,495 between them from Government grants, Sport England funding or ECB grants. Matt is delighted with the outcome, saying ‘one of our main priorities through the pandemic has been to keep cricket in business and the funding received by clubs has gone a long way to securing their futures. Clubs are the heartbeat of cricket in Somerset and for us to support them with over £750,000 of funding is amazing which in turn ensures they can continue to play a big part in their communities’.

If your club could do with a bit of additional support then please get in touch with:
Scott.chappell@somersetcricketboard.org for coaching and player development or
Matthew.counsell@somersetcricketboard.org for club development.

*The following clubs all received community coaching support this summer: Bathford, Beckington, Brislington, Broadway & Horton, Butleigh, Cheddar, Claverham, Congresbury, Hampset, Huntspill & District, Ilton, Kilmington & Stourton, Knowle, Long Ashton, Long Sutton, Midsomer Norton, North Petherton, Portishead, Purnell, Shapwick & Polden, Staplegrove, Street, Uphill Castle, Wedmore, Wembdon, Wombats and Wrington