Topsham first to benefit from latest round of Shep Trust coaching grants

TOPSHAM are the first Devon club this close season to benefit from a David Shepherd Cricket Trust youth coaching grant.

The Trust has renewed its offer to help clubs with indoor coaching over the winter months for a third year.

Clubs who have had previous grants can apply for top-up grant of £300, if they sign-up five new members for the Trust.

Grants of £600 are available to clubs who have not applied before, conditional on recruiting 10 new Trust members and the club also becoming a member.

Individual membership is just £10 a year so the benefits of joining are clear.

Youth cricket at Topsham is thriving with more than 180 colts registered at the club. Most of them in the 7-14 age range.

A £600 grant from the Trust helped Topsham prepare its young cricketers last winter and the reward was seeing the under-11 and under-12 sides reach East Devon Cup finals for the first time in years.

Topsham committee member Sheila Harding said the continued support of the David Shepherd Cricket Trust has been a real boost to the youth section.

“The money will certainly be well spent,” said Sheila.

“We have lined-up a paid coach, who we employ during the summer, to help our volunteer level two coaches and support workers run Indoor training for our colts.

“The indoor training we will be running during the winter will help our colts build on the skills learned last year.”

Sheila said not only did two sides reach cup finals, individual players were talent spotted too by the county selectors.

“We have seven boys between the ages of nine and 14 in the East Devon winter training squads – and two boys and about eight girls are awaiting the outcome of Devon trials – far more than we have had in living memory,” said Sheila.

‘I am sure it isn’t coincidental many of those involved received club training last winter.’

Richard Wyatt-Haines, the secretary of the David Shepherd Cricket Trust, said the Topsham success story typified what the Trust is trying to achieve.

“We want to encourage youngsters to play our great game and quality coaching really helps them on the way,” said Wyatt-Haines.

“To hear how well Topsham’s young players are doing is really encouraging for the work we do.

“It is also pleasing to see Topsham recruiting new members for the Trust – I believe there are nearly 20 of them now.

“A strong membership base is crucial to the success of our work and at just £10 a year for an individual it is an inexpensive way to help the next generation of cricketers make their way.”

To apply for a coaching grant from the David Shepherd Cricket Trust, or become a member, visit