Old Buckenham CC forge links

Old Buckenham Cricket Club is forging links with a number of local schools after being awarded Chance to Shine status by the Norfolk Cricket Board.

The award, which covers a five-year period, allows funding for Buckenham's coaches to provide cricket coaching within the curriculum to schools within the club's local area, writes Phil Banyard.

The six schools to benefit from the initiative are: Old Buckenham High and Primary, Attleborough High and Junior, Great Hockham Primary and Hingham Primary.

Initial funding will almost double over the first three years, enabling two more schools to be brought into the scheme, as well as increasing the time dedicated to coaching in all eight schools.

Old Buckenham are also planning a schools' cricket tournament and holiday cricket camps as part of the project.

The Norfolk Cricket Board's cricket development manager, Kieron Tuck, said: 'Chance to Shine is a long-term initiative of the Cricket Foundation and ECB to re-introduce competitive and structured cricket programmes in to state schools. Funding is provided to club and county board projects to deliver 280 hours of coaching in a selection of state schools, both at primary and secondary level.

'Clearly, Chance to Shine can play a significant part in the development of schools and club cricket within the county.

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'The Norfolk Cricket Board are therefore committed to supporting existing club projects, and hopefully adding new projects in future years at clubs with room to grow and the need to develop more extensive school links.'

Tuck said Norfolk would have a total of seven Chance to Shine projects this year and added: 'In 2011, the Norfolk Cricket Board has been able to secure three new club projects at Swaffham, Brooke and Old Buckenham, as well as a county board project to deliver girls' cricket.

'The NCB were delighted to recommend Old Buckenham for a Chance to Shine project in 2011 as they have been very pro-active in recent years around general club development, youth coaching and facility improvement. The club need to expand their schools and community work to continue to grow their youth sections, and the fact that Old Buckenham have been very receptive to NCB programmes and advice means that we have full confidence that they will deliver an excellent Chance to Shine programme in their local schools.'

By a happy coincidence, Old Buckenham CC and Old Buckenham High School have joined forces to develop a five-wicket square alongside the school's existing all-weather strip and this will be used for the club's third and fourth teams next season.

Sport England provided �6,100 to fund a mower and sightscreens, while covers and a boundary rope, costing �878, were provided by Old Buckenham Trust 2000.

The school, besides having use of the new grass wickets, have also been invited to make use of the club's ground.

Old Buckenham also plan to expand their girls' cricket section in 2011. As well as defending their South Norfolk Community League title, the girls' team will enter the county U13 competitions.

The club recently held their awards for the 2010 season and the winners were as follows;

First Team Player of the Year - Terry Perry: First Team Outstanding Performance – Ian Harrison: Second Team Player of the Year - John Briggs: Second Team Outstanding Performance - Ben Mann: Third Team Player of the Year - Simon Newbery: Third Team Outstanding Performance - Gary Hood: Fourth Team Player of the Year - Tom Goddard: Fourth Team Outstanding Performance - Mark Hill: Clubman of the Year - Andy Austin: Highest Batting Average - John Briggs: Haigh Bowling Award - Tom Alexander: Roger Macrow Award - Jamie Lincoln: Carol Perry Youth Batting Award - Ryan Thompson: Carol Perry Youth Bowling Award - Harry Dunkinson: Young Player of the Year - Ben Askew.