A WEST FIFE cricket club aims to continue its promising youth structure by signing up to a new coaching initiative.
Dunfermline and Carnegie Cricket Club, formed two years ago following the amalgamation of the former Dunfermline and Dunfermline Carnegie cricket clubs, have registered with Cricket Scotland’s ‘All Stars Cricket’ coaching scheme that aims to turn the game into one of Scotland’s mainstream sports.
The initiative, launched by the governing body last month, will see an eight-week programme begin in May for children aged between 5-8 to enjoy a first, fun experience of cricket in a safe and inclusive environment at clubs across the country.
The McKane Park based club are one of those and while president Richie Barclay has been delighted with the number of youngsters playing with Dunfermline and Carnegie, he wants to make sure that they remain enthusiastic about the game as they grow older.
He said: “Last year our numbers grew but this year it has been much of a muchness. The youth section though has really taken off and has been a huge positive for us, but we want to find a way of keeping them involved in the sport.
“We’ve registered for the ‘All Stars’ programme for 5-8 year olds, which is run by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and Cricket Scotland.
“It’s a huge initiative and we’re one of the few clubs in Scotland who are doing it, and we’re trying to mirror what Cricket Scotland are doing, and be an example club.
“The more that we do things like that, the more we’ll encourage younger players to join. We’re targeting late primary school age and our programmes with schools is really shining through.”
Richie continued: “We’ve had kids playing on Friday nights with indoor cricket. It starts with a soft ball before progressing on to a hard one.
“Our youths are ever expanding and hopefully we can attract further funding that would allow us to have extra coaches.
“There’s something for everyone in cricket and anyone’s welcome to come along play; any age, any size and whether you’re male or female, it doesn’t matter. The club has levels for everyone.”
Each child who takes part in the All Stars programme will receive a pack of cricket goodies, including a bat, ball and personalised shirt and cap, and they will have the chance to meet current Scotland internationalists.
Cricket Scotland chief executive Malcolm Cannon said: “2016 was a major turning point in Scottish cricket with a series of positive changes and achievements made both on and off the pitch.
“All Stars Cricket is another significant development which has been supported by huge number of clubs across the country.”
Open training sessions, which are free and equipment is provided, will be held at McKane on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm next week.
Go to dunfermlineandcarnegiecricket.hitscricket.co.uk. for more information.