Heathcoat CC awarded £800 grant towards youth section development

AN £800 grant from the David Shepherd Cricket Trust will help Heathcoat CC continue to provide top-quality coaching to the club’s youngsters.

Heathcoat’s youth section provides cricket for more than 140 boys and girls.

The club runs four teams in the Bradleys East Devon Youth League, a girls’ section and an All Stars group.

All Stars Cricket – an ECB initiative aimed at 5-8 year olds – attracted 39 youngsters to the Tiverton club last summer.

Keeping all those youngsters playing takes plenty of coaching, which is provided by six coaches and nine activators.

Heathcoat put on 17 sessions through the summer, each one costing more than £100. The club also runs an annual primary school tournament every June.

When coach education costs are factored in, Heathcoat will spend more than £2,000 on supporting their youth section next year.

Alistair Deighton-Gibson, who as Heathcoat president has been looking after much of the administration since the sudden death of chairman Richard Cabburn during the summer, said the grant will help maintain standards and develop the flourishing girls’ section.

“Apart from the independent schools little, if any, coaching is offered in local schools and Heathcoat CC is the only club in Tiverton offering junior cricket,” said Deighton-Gibson.

“We are developing new areas of youth cricket, in particular girls, has been in its infancy for the last two years.

“We are hoping to raise their profile with more fixtures and hopefully extra coaching.

“Naturally the girls would prefer a female coach, so we need funds for ladies to attend courses as well.”

Extra coaches and qualified helpers are needed for the boys’ teams, something the Trust is always pleased to assist with.

“We need to develop new coaches as well as funding current coaches, and we have to pay some to maintain the highest level possible,” said Deighton-Gibson.

“We have nine activators and keen but unqualified parents/managers who need to be trained.”

Deighton-Gibson said the lack of cricket in local schools made the primary tournament all the more important.

“Six schools field eight sides in the tournament, which brings cricket to another group of juniors who otherwise wouldn’t be introduced to the game,” said Deighton-Gibson.

“The grant money will go a long way to helping us fulfil our aims.”

The David Shepherd Cricket Trust exists purely to develop youth cricket for both sexes from grass roots level to county standard.

Grants are available for coaching, coach education and player development. The Trust understands there is no game without officials and has made grants available to train young umpires.

Grants are available to any club in Devon. Previous grant winners can reapply for new projects.

To apply for a grant, click here