The first season of All Stars Cricket has been praised by clubs across Wales including Newport Fugitives CC and Monmouth CC.
Clubs have been using All Stars, an initiative introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board this summer, to recruit a new generation of young cricketers.
The programme is designed for five to eight-year-olds and with the support of Cricket Wales, local schools, businesses and clubs, word about All Stars Cricket and cricket sessions for other age groups has spread this summer to that extent that more than 2,000 children across Wales have been recruited.
Richard Jones, the All Stars Lead Activator at Newport Fugitives, believes the new initiative has breathed new life into underage cricket.
“Newport is a family-orientated club and we want to get the children playing and hopefully in years to come thy will be playing for the first, second or third team,” explained Richard.
“We have had 50 to 60 young children, some of them holding a bat for the first time, really enjoying
themselves during the programme and getting to learn what cricket is about.
“What has impressed me about the All Stars programme is that the children are learning the basic techniques that underpin cricket.
“And the hope is that they will go on and play for Newport Fugitives long into the future.”
Mike Maguire, Monmouth’s All Stars Lead Activator and also the club’s Chairman, said: “It’s important to me for young children to be involved in cricket at such a young age because I didn’t have that opportunity at such a young age.
“We have had 36 children signed up and what it means to the club is it brings some new talent coming through and there is a new vibe and a new energy that it is needed by any club.
“It’s just great to see them just enjoy themselves so much.”
With the support of Cricket Wales, local schools, businesses and clubs, word about All Stars Cricket and cricket sessions for other age groups has spread.
For £40 children have enjoyed an hour’s week coaching per week over an eight-week period from fully trained and vetted organisers delivering game-based basic cricket skills – catching, throwing and hitting moving balls and promoting team work and communication.
On registering for All Stars Cricket each child received branded kit including a cricket bat, ball, shirt, cap, backpack and water bottle.
More information about the programme is available at allstarscricket.co.uk