DSCT chairman looks forward to season ahead

After the sun-kissed 2018 cricket season, we are all looking forward with
anticipation to what should be an amazing summer for cricket.
The David Shepherd Cricket Trust is always seeking to find new ways to help our game expand at the junior, grass-roots level and reach as many young people it can so that they can all discover its important values but also the comradeship, fun and enjoyment it offers.
Grass roots cricket is vital to the game and its future and without the encouragement given to children talented and not so talented, we would never be in the position to compete nationally at the highest level, whether it be the World Cup or against Australia for the Ashes.
The Trust is here to encourage young people to play the game in Devon and to ensure that, through financial assistance and encouragement, it is open to all who want to learn and play.
The aim of the Trust is to assist Devon youth and to fill funding gaps to enable the game to prosper at all junior levels.
The Trust belongs to the cricketing fraternity and sorority and we look to them to point us in the way of opportunities to assist and support financially youth cricket in the county.
The Trustees aim to deliver about £20,000 in grants per year, a challenge that requires serious fund raising and growing the membership base.
The trustees believe the more members the Trust has the better it is for the cricket community in Devon. The Trust is, after all, owned by and is here for the Devon cricket community and we believe all cricketers in Devon must take an active interest in the work of the Trust. This is why the Trust seeks new members from the recipient club when we make a grant.
The Trust uses roughly one half of its annual budget to support elite, junior cricket for boys and girls where no ECB funding is provided. The other half is for cricket clubs and schools, particularly in encouraging coaching and formation of youth sections. This policy works well and we have, with the help of the Devon cricket community, been able to help many clubs in starting up junior sections and enabled them to continue and prosper.
We want to play a greater part in this but need more applications. We know that there are more needs and opportunities for us to help. We need these to be introduced to us and we will help.
While we have helped in the past with provision of helmets at cut prices, we do not generally support applications for equipment. Our aim is to assist in the coaching of boys and girls and enabling them to play cricket.
The Trust receives applications throughout the year and the winter can be far busier than the summer with clubs promoting coaching programs and new coaches going through training courses or existing coaches moving up a level. Grants are given to enable these courses to be run and for coaches to improve their skills.
We recognise coaches as particularly important and the dedication and commitment of mature cricketers in introducing the game and improving skills is vital and appreciated by the trustees. It is the lifeblood of the future of the game.
The Trust is reliant on the generosity of a strong membership: New members are vital to the Trust and its work – so please join! Yearly or monthly contributions can be enhanced by the benefit of Gift Aid. We are also most appreciative of those from Devon CCC to dedicated and generous individuals who have put in a special effort to raise funds for the charity. Together these marvellous people provide sufficient funds for the Trust to contribute at all youth levels of the great game of cricket in Devon.
As chairman, I wish to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of all the trustees and Kat Hampton, our ever-diligent and enthusiastic secretary, and thank them for their commitment in time and effort. I also thank all those who have made their contribution in the past year without which we could not do our work. It needs to continue.
We look forward to a great 2019 cricket season. If you are not already a member of the Trust, then please join and share our worthwhile cause. You could become a 111 member. Details of that and lots other matters are on our website at www.dsct111.org.uk

Guy Curry