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ECB celebrates coaching excellence

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The ECB hosts the national Sky Sports Coach of the Year Awards at Lord’s today, celebrating the country’s leading cricket coaches and promoting excellence throughout the game.

Sky Sports Coach Education

Awards are made in three categories: Outstanding Contribution and Services to Cricket Coaching, Outstanding Coaching Achievement and Best Young Coach of the Year (under-25) at a ceremony in the Long Room with 150 of the country’s leading coaches and coach education specialists.

Mike Gatting, ECB managing director of cricket partnerships, said: “The face of coaching and coach education has changed dramatically in recent years with a clear pathway for progression and excellence.

“Good coaching is integral to a healthy game and the partnership with Sky Sports has enabled us to increase the number of coaches, quality of the resources and reduce the costs for coaches to access through the Sky Sports scholarships.

Mike Gatting

Mike Gatting insists:"Good coaching is integral to a healthy game"

“The Sky Sports Coach of the Year Awards provides an opportunity to recognise all our coaches at a local, regional and national level who deliver the community coach system.”

Nominations were initially made by 40 county boards, who each proposed three nominees, one in each category. The nominees in the Young Coach of the Year award are invited to attend a practical coaching event run by leading coaches, including England coach Peter Moores last year.

The nominees were invited to attend an npower Test during the 2008 international season and received their certificate from a member of the Sky Sports cricket commentary team including Sir Ian Botham, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd.

The ECB, with support from Sky Sports, delivers four levels of UKCC qualifications for cricket coaching starting with the ECB Coaching Assistant award. The coaching pathway then leads to the ECB Coach Award, the ECB Head Coach Award and the ECB Master Coach Award.

In order to make coaches as good as they can be, all coaches are aided by a specialist training and support team of national trainers.

Following publication of the ECB National Club Survey in January 2008, the ECB announced a 27% increase in participation in club and school cricket during 2006-07, with women’s and girl’s cricket recording the sharpest rise of 45%.

The ECB survey, which sampled 424 focus clubs nationally, also showed an 18% increase of community coaching roles, 30,000 registered club coaches, over 400,000 school children coached via club school links, a 16% increase in volunteers and a 37% increase in years 5, 6 and 7 school participation.