First year for DG Community Cricket Coach

It is over a year since Chris Stewart from Langholm was appointed as the newly created Community Cricket Coach for Dumfries and Galloway and it has been a busy year in post as he has been moving around the region.

The remit is to provide cricket coaching to local children encouraging them to take part in this growing sport. As a result there is now more junior cricket played locally in schools and clubs and these schools have also been linked with their local club to ensure that there is support for the school and a healthy future for local cricket clubs.

The local cricket team, Mark Adams, Sports Development Officer (Stewartry), Chris Stewart, D&G Community Cricket Coach, Iain Stewart, Cricket Scotland West Community Development Manager

Thanks to the assistance of the local Active Schools programme, twenty five schools across the region ranging from Langholm to Dalbeattie have welcomed visits and blocks of cricket sessions. With the vast majority being primary schools the emphasis has been to provide an early introduction to the sport and nearly nine hundred youngsters have already benefitted directly from Chris’s expertise.

Ten holiday Cricket Camps, from Gatehouse to Annan, have been held to develop participation, and liason with club sessions have ensured that budding players can develop their skills with out of school cricket.

With an innovative mini-cricket programme introduced for those from the age of four and cricket a part of several school health days there is a productive programme to excite new players. An associated consequence has been that clubs are out and about supporting more cricket sessions at their local schools.

Iain Stewart, the Cricket Scotland West Community Development Manager said ”It’s been a great step forward to have a Community Coach exclusively for D&G. Chris has grown in confidence in the first year of the post and is becoming a more accomplished coach by the day. It takes a young person with energy and drive to fulfil a role as varied and demanding as this due to the geography of the region”.

The post of local community coach is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community, Dumfries and Galloway Leader 2007-2013 programme and is also supported by Cricket Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Leisure and Sport department, and local cricket clubs.

With still more cricket planned over the winter and for the new school year local schools, teachers and parents are encouraged to contact Chris for assistance in introducing or improving cricket as a sport at their school either within the curriculum or after school. They can also contact him on how to develop their own abilities to take a cricket session. He can be emailed at Chris.Stewart@dumgal.gov.uk, or contact him at DG One.

More information about how to play junior cricket in Dumfries and Galloway can be found at http://www.dgcricket.org.uk.

Pictured are Mark Adams the Council’s Sports Development Officer for the Stewarty with the remit for cricket region wide in D&G, Chris Stewart, the D&G Community Cricket Coach, and Iain Stewart from Cricket Scotland, the West Community Cricket Development Manager.

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