NatWest/Sportsmatch CricketForce 2005/6 - FUNdamentals programme - Interim Report – October 2005

Introduction

As part of the legacy from NatWest CricketForce 2005 the ECB were tasked with developing 50 new junior sections of cricket clubs in the summer of 2005, focussing on sustainability and the long-term development of 6-9 year olds, whilst operating a FUNdamentals programme designed to improve the agility, balance, coordination and speed of young people.

Catching and throwing skills improvement was also a key feature. The initial NatWest investment into CricketForce kick-started a major refurbishment programme at 665 cricket clubs throughout England and Wales with 50,000 volunteers involved on April 2-3 2005.

A £50,000 matching award - the maximum - was secured through Sportsmatch to enable the ECB to identify 50 Focus Clubs which would maximise interest and involvement of the lifeblood of the sport – 6-9 year olds – the future of the game.

Aims and Objectives

  • To set up new junior sections for 6 to 9 year olds in 50 Focus Clubs nationally
  • To attract a minimum of 20 children to each new junior section
  • To operate indoor and outdoor coaching sessions (summer 2005 and spring 2006)
  • Recruit and train adults as coaches and helpers
  • Recruit and train Young Leaders
  • Appoint a Coaching Coordinator at each club
  • Provide ‘FUNdamentals’ equipment at each club
  • Leave a sustainable legacy

Project Details

Each club was asked to put together and submit a Development Plan showing clearly how they would achieve the outcomes required from the programme.

We had 51 plans submitted (one club are commencing their programme in spring 2006) which included identifying and working in partnership with their feeder primary schools, setting up summer coaching sessions at their cricket club, identifying and naming their coaching coordinator, recruiting appropriate adults and publicising their activities.

Outcomes (from evaluation forms submitted by the clubs)

From Truro CC in Cornwall, to Benfleet CC in Essex, from Stourbridge CC in Worcestershire to Congleton CC in Cheshire, from Greenfield CC in Lancashire to Barnard Castle CC in Durham and many other parts of the country the selected clubs have responded with enthusiasm and achieved tangible outcomes:

  • 3,600 Boys and 2597 Girls have received in school coaching on a regular basis throughout the summer of 2005
  • 1548 Boys and 493 Girls have been recruited to the clubs and attended FUNdamentals coaching sessions
  • Membership from both children and adults has increased in all clubs
  • Increased revenue to all clubs
  • New girls sections established
  • Improved contacts with Press and Media
  • Mini 8’s Tourmament established
  • Table Cricket introduced for the first time
  • Additional funding generated
  • Partnership established with County FUNdamentals Coordinator
  • Additional equipment accessed/purchased
  • Improved Skills of boys and girls
  • Many new coaches and adult helpers who have attended or are attending courses for Coaching, Sports Leadership, First Aid, Child Protection, Coaching in Schools
  • New volunteers (umpiring, scoring, administrating, fund raising…)
  • Less disruption at the club
  • Increased use of the club facilities
  • Enabled negotiation to free access to indoor facilities
  • Established/improved relationships with local schools
  • Raised the club profile in the community
  • Increased the social interest at the club
  • Involvement from many adults including Club Coaches, Local Authority Coaches, Parents, Administrators, Umpires, Young Leaders, Teachers, School Sport Coordinators, Partnership Development Managers and Sports Development Officers
  • Improved the teaching and coaching skills of the adults

What next?

The programme is to continue during the close season 2005/6 with indoor FUNdamentals coaching sessions already organised in many of the clubs.

More children may be recruited for these sessions. Many adults are attending coaching courses at this time. This in turn will lead into the Spring/early summer of 2006 when the legacy will continue outside at the cricket club junior sections.

A DVD is being produced filmed at clubs and schools within the programme to show the outcomes and bring this interim report to life. It will be available in November 2005.

Summary

NatWest, Sportsmatch and ECB can be proud of what has been achieved with this programme to date. As we move forward with the delivery of ‘Building Partnerships’ Cricket’s Strategic Plan 2005-2009, programmes of this nature will enthuse participation and following of young people within the cricket club and school environment.

The importance of involving young people their families and other adults cannot be underestimated. This programme has increased participation, enthusiasm and membership at schools and clubs, improved skill levels, engaged with adults and families and increased income to clubs at a time when the England Cricket Teams were engaged in the greatest test series of all time. Roll on summer 2006.