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Students bowled over by Belfast Coaching Camp

David Morton

Thirty boys from six local cricket clubs recently enjoyed a week of expert coaching as part of the Belfast Cricket Coaching Camp which was hosted by Civil Service North of Ireland Cricket Club (CSNICC).

The boys were split in U11, U13, and U15/17 ages groups and during the week each group had the opportunity to participate in sessions such as match specific based scenarios, range hitting, death bowling, boundary fielding, batting against spin and throwing. The aim of the week was to expose the players to new or different practice methods, to challenge and take the individuals out of their comfort zones.

Expert coaching was provided by Irish International, Andrew White, Craig Ervine from Lisburn CC, Simon Johnston, Active Communities Coach for Belfast Community Sports Development Network and CSNICC cricketers Nigel Jones, Griffen Neiuwoudt, Andrew Cowden, Christopher McMorran and Niall Hodgins.

One of the coaches and main organisers, Andrew Cowden, who is also the Director of the CSNICC Youth Academy, said following the Camp: “I am delighted with the success of the inaugural Belfast Cricket Coaching Camp. I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback from many of the parents and participants at the camp. I truly believe it was a very beneficial, challenging and enjoyable week for everyone involved. I am delighted that we had a full camp of 30 boys from six different clubs and wish to thank Mike Hodgins for his organisation and all the coaches involved for their help throughout the week.”

Following the success of this year's Coaching Camp Andrew is looking forward to next summer already: “Given the enthusiasm of everyone involved and the excellent feedback received we will surely be looking to build on this by running another Camp next year.”

Mike Hodgins who helped organise the camp said: “We were pleased at the feedback received from participants and their parents. The consensus was that the week had been a great success. Some of the lads who took part are already looking forward to next year’s event. The coaching team were also pleased with how things went and we feel we are now in a position to provide something of equal quality next year and plan to open the Camp to a still wider cricket audience.

“At CSNICC we are constantly reviewing the contribution we make to the development of young cricket talent in the club. We feel that this initiative is of benefit to our own youngsters and also has the potential to benefit young aspiring cricketers from other clubs within the Greater Belfast area. Ideas on how we can further improve the experience for young cricketers in the Belfast area are already being discussed and we feel we are in a strong position to ensure that the event becomes an important element in the cricket calendar for young cricket enthusiasts.”