Fletcher launches the Sky Sports Coach Education Programme

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Duncan Fletcher

Duncan Fletcher has hailed the investment made by Sky Sports © Getty Images

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Sky Sports Coach Education

England coach Duncan Fletcher has welcomed the launch of a new initiative to modernise the coaching programme in this country.

Fletcher launched the modernised ECB's Coach Education Programme sponsored by Sky Sports - 'Developing the coaches from the Playground to the Test Arena' - at The Brit Oval.

And he said "Thanks to Sky Sports, with the increased level of participation in cricket this summer, both the quality of the coaches’ experience on a course will be enhanced and the cost of accessing the course will be less.

"This investment is crucial to not only enhance the depth of talent that we produce in the long-term but also to ensure that every child enjoys their first experience of the game."

Sky's financial and marketing support of coaching will ensure that the standard, number of coaches and profile of coaching will receive a significant boost in the UK.

The Programme is designed to develop 3,000 new coaches a year, who will benefit from the enhanced coaching courses.

Sky Sports

Sky Sports have pledged £200,000 towards the project for the next two years. The new scheme will provide interactive DVD footage to help coaches and a local reward-and-recognition scheme for each county board.

An emphasis on fun will be a key part of the course with coaches encouraged to make sessions enjoyable from the lowest level right up to Fletcher’s elite England squad.

“The key to coaching is getting the balance right between taking it seriously and having fun,” added Fletcher.

“Most people get their enjoyment from improving their game and if there’s no fun the player often gets fed up and leaves the system.”

Former England coach David Lloyd, now a Sky Sports commentator, also welcomed the scheme.

“This new scheme means even more coaches and better quality coaching - and they’re essential to develop new players and keep others playing,” he said.

“I can’t stress enough how important coaching is to the health of cricket in this country.

“It’s vital these coaches get the best training and equipment. I’m thrilled that we can give something more to a crucial area of the game.”

David Collier, the ECB chief executive, added: “In Building Partnerships, the strategic plan for cricket, the ECB highlighted this need as a primary goal to develop the next generation of England cricketers.

"Sky's sponsorship of the coaching programme will allow ECB to develop the additional coaches we need to service the 42 per cent increase in participation which cricket has enjoyed this summer.

"The additional £200,000 per annum which Sky are investing in coach education will provide our coaching programmes with a major boost and be of huge benefit from playground to Test arena.

"Sky's commitment to cricket enables the ECB to invest more than £12m per annum into grassroots cricket and ECB is very grateful to Sky for their support in taking cricket coaching to the next level throughout England and Wales and for all their support of grass roots cricket."

Key facts:

  • There will be 3000 newly qualified coaches per year
  • All will qualify through enhanced coaching courses including interactive on-course DVD footage and the Sky Sports Resource Chest
  • A local reward and recognition scheme will be started within each County Board, linked to a national scheme for coaches, raising the profile and reward local, regional, club and district coaches and tutors for the work they have done.
  • Sky's ongoing commitment to raising the profile of coaching through DVD's for coaches, posters in clubhouses and regular coverage on their website
  • By 2009, through the Sky Sports Coaching Programme, the ECB aim to have a Level Two or above coach in all 1450 focus clubs
  • Sky's Coaching programme will reach over 1.25 million young people including 740,000 in primary schools (estimated that 50 per cent are girls), 1500 secondary schools and 1450 focus clubs with junior sections of over 225,000 children
  • There are 300 Sky-sponsored tutors that develop the coaches and they will have access to 32 Sky resource chests, which include enhanced coaching tools such as Speed Ladders, Agility Hurdle Cone Sets, Wobble Mats, Flipper Balls and Reaction Balls
  • There are 500 planned coaching courses taking place
  • Sky's overall investment in cricket through the recent television deal means that they are the major contributor towards grassroots cricket in the UK, with an estimated contribution of over £12 million per annum

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