Cirencester Cricket Club recently hosted a State School Festival of Cricket for Under 11 and Under 13 players from a number of clubs within the wider area. Organised by CCC’s Junior Co-ordinator, Oliver Breen and sponsored by The Ridgeway Thatching Company.
Running for one full week at the tail-end of the great British summer, the focus was firmly on demonstrating that the game is open to all children regardless of gender or social economic background. The event was well attended – with over 100 children involved across the course of the week from all over Gloucestershire – often with teams of 14 a side. During the week there were u11 T20 games during the morning and u13 T20’s each afternoon.
Each day the children were placed in different groups – warmups focused on getting to know other club players and during the matches there was a randomised batting order with each person bowling 2 overs. Players retired at 25 runs and/or balls to ensure each participant played an equal part.
The festival was a wonderful success and the quality of cricket on display, excellent. The boys and girls demonstrated the true spirit of the game, playing hard but fair.
Players came from a number of cricket clubs across the county – Apperley, Aston Ingham, Bradley Stoke, Cheltenham, Chipping Sodbury, Churchdown, Cinderford, Cirencester, Cricklade, Dumbleton, Fairford, Frocester, Gloucester, Great Rissington, Hatherley & Reddings, Hawkesbury, Malmesbury, Minchinhampton, Ombersley, Poulton, Quedgeley & Hardwick and Stroud.
Alex, Owner of The Ridgeway Thatching Company sponsor
“When Olly Breen approached us with the idea of sponsoring the tournament, it resonated with my belief in the grassroots approach and the value of a hard work ethic, making it a cause I wholeheartedly endorse.” –
Olly Breen, Cirencester Cricket Club
“We have been blown away by the response to this festival, to have so many kids from across Wiltshire and Gloucestershire shows the demand there is among State School children in the area, and the quality of the cricket has been superb. We would love to build on this and plan something even bigger and better in 2024.”
The club have this year launched scholarship scheme for state-school players in partnership with Gecko. One player from each age-group will receive fully funded weekly one-to-one coaching sessions with an ECB qualified coach plus full playing kit, with an additional player from each age-group also receiving a full set of playing kit.
Plans for next year are underway to run a festival again (potentially also including u15’s). Opportunities are underway to explore more training opportunities for the children and potentially some additional fixtures.