19 Jun 2009

As the countdown to the Ashes reaches less than 20 days, cricket fever has hit Cardiff with three of the city’s cricket clubs celebrating cash injections from the Sports Council for Wales.

Having previously had to share nets and training facilities with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Cardiff Cricket Club is celebrating a £43,000 injection from the Sports Council to provide new four-bay practice nets.

With six competitive senior teams and four junior teams, the club will certainly make the most of the new nets and they make a welcome change from their wheeling their one lone net onto the outfield.

Matt Phillips, Chair of Cardiff Cricket Club, comments on the impact the new facility is already having on the club:

"We are absolutely delighted with the new facility and it has already made a tremendous difference to the quality and level of coaching that we are able to undertake at the club. We have four evenings per week of junior practice and we have already seen a significant increase in both the numbers participating and the progress of the young players since the construction of the nets."

And it’s not only Cardiff Cricket Club’s players who will benefit from the new facility. It will also support cricket in Cardiff on a wider basis with Glamorgan County Cricket Club’s 2nd XI, UWIC and Cardiff University

Both Creigiau and Lisvane Cricket Clubs are also reaping the benefits of Sports Council cash.

In the midst of its 10th anniversary, the Community Chest scheme - which offers organisations keen to develop sport and physical activity in Wales up to £1000 of National Lottery funding – has ploughed funding into developing cricket at grassroots level across the capital to ensure a new breed of cricketing stars comes through the ranks.

A major part of the set-up at Creigiau, the junior section will continue to expand thanks to a £750 grant. Training up and increasing the number of qualified coaches at the club will be the first priority; with the cash also used to provide specific equipment for junior cricket.

Dr Graham Taylor, Honorary Treasurer of Creigau Cricket Club, comments,

"Community Chest grants are really important in sustaining our development. This year’s grant means that we start the season with a full quota of coaches to cope with the numbers of cricketers playing at the club, enabling us to invest time in developing the juniors into senior level cricket."

Lisvane Cricket Club is also concentrating on their youngsters and have been awarded £1000 to establish a new U11 team and to run girls only coaching sessions for a nine week period.

The Community Chest cash will be ploughed into equipment – such as bats, balls and helmets – as well as training up four coaches to cope with the demand for their junior section.

The 32-year-old club plays at Llwynarthen Cricket Ground and already has seven coaches running teams at U10, U11, U13 and U15 and has the largest and fastest growing youth section in Cardiff.

Ian Morgan, Youth Coordinator at the club, comments,

"We continue to try and provide as much competitive cricket as we can to support the demand across the east of Cardiff. As the only club in this half of the city we have a great responsibility to run as many sides as is feasible. The Community Chest grant allows us to replenish our coaching resources and form new sides."

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