GRANT aid from the David Shepherd Cricket Trust has helped youth cricket at Topsham flourish in the season just coming to and end.
Topsham were among the clubs who benefited from a membership scheme run by the Trust last winter.
Clubs who recruited 10 new members to the Trust qualified for a £600 grant to spend on developing their youth section.
Topsham run teams across every age group from U8-U14, providing cricket for around 150 boys and girls.
A highlight for Topsham this season was seeing the U12 side reach the final of the Somerset County Sports-sponsored East Devon Youth League Cup.
Although they lost to Exeter in the final at Cullompton, coach Peter Norman said he was hugely ‘proud’ of the team.
“I am extremely proud of what the boys all achieved in getting to the final in the first place and with how they performed on the day,” said Norman.
“The Coaches have taken away lots of positive points for the boys and have also identified opportunities to improve next year.
“The team also showed great attitude and sportsmanship against an extremely strong side with several county players.”
Stuart Thorn, the chairman of youth cricket at Topsham, said for clubs like his with limited financial needs the Trust grant was vital to providing winter coaching that would develop players of the future.
Thorn added: “It is our goal that not only should these cricketers sustain the future of the club, but also help build the quality and standard of cricket played in future years.
“The grant have enabled us to host sessions for children of all levels, fulfilling our aim that they have a great time, make new friends, learn new skills and develop individual cricketing ability.
With no indoor facilities of our own we were able to provide quality coaching in a safe, dry environment which covered every aspect of cricket including batting, bowling, fielding and wicket-keeping.
“Our club is indebted to the David Shepherd Cricket Trust for the financial contribution that allowed us to continue to run these sessions and provide valuable practice to all our junior squads.
“I am sure David Shepherd would take great pride in the fact he is still influencing cricket by helping the development of the young players of today, enabling them to reach their full potential.”