YOUTH cricket at Culmstock benefited hugely from a £600 winter coaching grant from the David Shepherd Cricket Trust.
The east Devon club was one of 10 to obtain a grant in the annual membership drive run by the Trust.
Clubs who introduce 10 new members to the Trust can apply for a grant. More than £12,000 has been paid out that way over the last two winters.
Culmstock have been able to run practice and taster sessions at nearby schools, and treat their players to a session at the Somerset CCC centre of excellence on the County Ground at Taunton.
Robert Lamyman, Culmstock’s youth co-ordinator, said with the season just about to start the grant had enabled the junior section to ‘hit the ground running’.
He added; “The highlight of the winter training programme was taking a group of youngsters up to the County Ground, Somerset to use the centre of excellence.
“To walk into the ground and tell the children this is where, Smith, Gayle and Trescothick practice and this where they will be practicing will stay with some of them for a long time.
“Inspired facilities, inspired kids.”
The Somerset experience was sandwiched between five indoor sessions at Courtfields School, Wellington, where up to 25 young cricketers attended.
The final two sessions were at Uffculme School and were set up as ‘try cricket’ taster sessions for new members who hadn’t played cricket before but wanted a free trial session.
“We put the emphasis on, fun, games and prizes and hopefully some of the new players who attended these sessions will join the Culmstock family,” said Lamyman.
“The money the David Shepherd Cricket Trust has invested in our small, village club is a huge boost for the volunteers who work behind the scenes.
“We are hopeful of a successful, fun and exciting season.”
Culmstock will be running four sides in the Bradleys East Devon Youth Cricket League from U10s-U15s.
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 www.dsct111.org and go to joining and donating.