Shepherd Trust renew support for special needs cricket festival

A SPECIAL schools’ cricket festival is going ahead for the fourth year running thanks to a grant from the David Shepherd Cricket Foundation..

Eight schools for special needs pupils from all over Devon will converge on Bovey Tracey on June 24 for the tournament.

A grant of £400 from the Trust pays for the Kwik Cricket equipment used for the tournament.

To encourage the young men and women taking part to keep playing cricket, the kit bags got back to their schools with them at the end of the day.

Stuart Munday, the Devon League chairman, said co-ordinator Fran Fox from Ratcliffe School in Dawlish, runs the festival, which has gone from strength-to-strength.

“It is a marvellous day out for all the young people who take part, and those who make the festival happen,” said Munday.

“My job is straight forward – hand out the prizes at the end and have my picture taken – but people from Bovey Tracey, the DCB and general cricket enthusiasts make it happen.

“It is such a fun day for everyone – players and helpers – and a real success.

“The kids who take part seem to have a lot more fun than some of the players in some adult games I see.

“And when they go home with a medal round their necks for winning, you can see the joy on their faces.

“Chris Bradley, when he was Devon captain, worked at one of the schools and it was his idea that got the festival off the ground.

“”He can be very proud of what it has become.”

The David Shepherd Cricket Trust was set up to encourage youth cricket at all levels in Devon, from under-nines at clubs to the Devon Lions development programme for future Minor County players.

The Trust relies on membership subscriptions, donations and fund-raising events to keep its grant programme going.

To help the Trust by becoming a member, visit their website and go to joining and donating.