Girls' cricket now on the right track

England women s cricket captain Charlotte Edwards is helping to drive the sport forward in North Herts. Edwards, a fixture in the team for years who hails from Cambridgeshire, has been coaching at Marriotts School in Stevenage. This is all part of the dev

England women's cricket captain Charlotte Edwards is helping to drive the sport forward in North Herts.

Edwards, a fixture in the team for years who hails from Cambridgeshire, has been coaching at Marriotts School in Stevenage.

This is all part of the development of girls' cricket in schools in North Herts and Stevenage which has been given a major boost for this summer.

It comes on the back of Knebworth Park CC being nominated for 2008 as one of the six clubs in Herts to run an English Cricket Board (ECB) backed 'Chance to shine' programme.

Their programme will focus specifically on the development of girls' cricket.

'Chance to shine' is a programme launched in 2005-6 by the ECB to encourage cricket into state schools.

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Knebworth Park is an ECB and Herts County Focus club and is a clubmark accredited club by Sport England and is in the second year of its 'Chance to shine' programme in North Herts.

The basic concept for this programme is to work with a secondary school and its feeder schools.

Knebworth have already been working with a number of primary schools on Kwik cricket in the Stevenage and North Herts area in conjunction with Stevenage CC over the last three years and have now decided to take a different approach.

Park will still continue to work with primary schools in the area throughout the summer, again working closely with Stevenage CC.

This particular programme has seen an estimated 2,000 children experience cricket over the last three years.

The 'Chance to shine' programme, funded through the Cricket Foundation, will provide Year Seven and Year Eight girls (under-12s/13s) with curriculum time teaching in six schools.

The Stevenage schools are Barnwell, Marriotts, Nobel and The John Henry Newman, plus Highfield School in Letchworth GC. In addition, primary schools for Year Five/Six will also be included in the programme - Codicote, Longmeadow, Martins Wood, St Nicholas and Round Diamond.

The curriculum time coaching will be supported by after-school clubs and will culminate in a league format over a number of weeks and tournaments during the summer term. This programme is all about developing skills, playing competitive games and having fun.

Knebworth will continue to run its annual summer coaching schools but this year it will be enhanced to include youngsters from the 'Chance to shine' initiative.

Last year, the schools' programme produced many young players for Knebworth Park and other local clubs.

Mike McCrow from Knebworth Park said: "2007 has seen a continuation in the development of youth cricket at the Park and it is a great credit to the club that we have been selected to participate in a second year of this programme.

"The outcome, we hope, will be good not only for Knebworth Park but for other cricket clubs in North Herts.

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