Newton Tracey, Hatherleigh, Exwick and Exmouth reveal where their Christmas winnings will be spent

THE Christmas cash windfall from the David Shepherd Cricket Trust is going to help Newton Tracey CC re-launch its youth section in the summer ahead.

“We are formulating a plan at the moment for the reinvigoration of our youth section after a couple lean years where we have struggled for numbers,” said youth organiser Graham Moore.

“We were due to join forces with Chulmleigh CC in 2020 to combine our efforts in league games, but the weather and Covid put paid to that. 

“Youth cricket didn’t really happen in 2020 as we weren’t comfortable with the restrictions placed upon us.”

Moore said a priority for Newton Tracey was coach education as their head coach has retired from the role.

Other priorities are new equipment such as wooden spring stumps, a new practice net and balls for net practice and the club’s bowling machine.

Getting numbers up is another priority and Moore said Newton Tracey want to attract primary school youngsters through ECB initiatives such as AllStars and Dynamos.

“We aim to register for Allstars and Dynamos in the New Year as part of our rebuilding plans and again have approached Chulmleigh about combining our efforts. 

Our main strength in numbers was in under-15s, although those have all moved up to the seniors now.”

Hatherleigh earmarked their Christmas bonus from the David Shepherd Cricket Trust for coach education.

Nick Rogers, the Hatherleigh chairman, said: “ We are absolutely delighted to have won one of the £250 prizes from the David Shepherd Cricket Trust draw and greatly thank the trustees for this initiative at the end of this really unusual year.”

Rogers said Hatherleigh have youth and lady players across the spectrum, starting from primary age youngsters in the ECB’s All Stars programme.

“Despite the shortened season of 2020, we managed to run a full All Stars programme, as well as enter teams at each age group up to under-13s in the West Devon Youth League. 

“Our under 15s became an essential part of our 3rd XI team last season and we were thankful to other clubs who helped us arrange several under-19 futures.”

Rogers said the grant would support the club in implementing plans they have for the 2021 season. 

“Up-skilling our young adults to help with junior training by sending them on the new Foundation One coaching course has been a project for the last couple of winters,” said Rogers.

“They are essential to the continued success of All Stars, as well as the launch of our two Dynamos programmes – mixed and for girls only. These young coaches create a link between youth and adult cricket to help keep players playing in both the men’s and ladies section of the club.”

Exwick, Sandford and Exmouth were also winners in the Trust’s Christmas draw.

Exwick began the process of starting a ladies section in 2019 and will use their £250 windfall to coach the group.

“We launched a ladies softball side in 2019 and have between 12-15 players registered, “ said coach Steve Forbes. 

“They played their first competitive cricket in the Ivybridge event in September and we will use the money for vital equipment to help sessions to develop the women’s section.”

Open days are planned for 2021 to attract juniors to the club and any equipment acquired will be dual-purposed.

Daniel O’Connell, the Exwick secretary, said the Christmas draw highlighted how valuable the David Shepherd Cricket Trust is to clubs in the county.

“The trust is a great ambassador for the game and we hope to link-up with them more in the future to continually grow the game locally,” said O’Connell.

Exmouth chairman Mark Davies knows exactly where he wants to spend the £250 Christmas bonus.

“I would like to put that money towards some form of coach for ladies and girls’ cricket,” said Davies.

 “That is an area we are struggling in and it would be great to be able to develop a pathway for ladies cricket at Exmouth.

“Many thanks to the trust for a really welcome gesture in these difficult times for all sports clubs.”