On Saturday 24th March, the #muchmorethancricket Club Forum was held at the Stirling Court Hotel with clubs from across Scotland coming together to share experiences, ideas, and to network. The ethos of the forum has been to build on Cricket Scotland`s club development approach that is focused on turning our cricket clubs into community hubs.
We were extremely fortunate to learn from Drumchapel Table Tennis Club and Twechar Community Centre, two organisations that have become central to their local communities. This cross-fertilisation and learning from other sports and leisure providers has been a crucial factor in the cultural change taking place within many of our cricket clubs.
The day also featured the launch of Cricket Scotland`s exciting `CricHIIT` programme aimed at helping clubs attract females to the sport. The cricket-based, fitness programme will provide clubs with an `off the shelf` product to help them attract females by removing barriers and providing an entry point based on what women want!
Aligned to this was the presentation from Rosie Dyke which was a highlight of the day. Rosie gave everyone a perspective from `outside of cricket`. As a young female that had never engaged with cricket before she spoke about how she came to be involved in All Stars Cricket and the hugely positive experiences she had through this programme that has now seen her become a cricket convert. Her energy and enthusiasm gave everyone a glimpse of what the future could be if we engage young and exciting people in the right way.
This year we were also proud to hear from three of our clubs – Galloway CC, Gala CC and Westquarter & Redding CC – who have all been on the fascinating journey of transforming their clubs over the last 3 – 4 years. Whether it was Galloways journey of building their new clubhouse, Gala`s evolution into a community hub, or Westquarter`s brilliant commercial model and membership growth, every presentation struck a chord with the audience and demonstrated what is possible regardless of your challenges.
Cricket Scotland`s Head of Participation, Ian Sandbrook, commented:
“The club forum was a truly inspiring day and it gives me great hope for the future of our sport to see so many clubs and people there embracing the ideas and concepts of becoming a community club. When we strip it all back, sport and our cricket clubs, are about creating connection, belonging and meaningful experiences for people, and I`m adamant that if our clubs continue to put that at the heart of what they do they will have a bright future”
Coaches Forum – Sunday 25th March
Cricket Scotland were also delighted to host our first `Coaches Forum` at Stirling Court Hotel. This is part of Cricket Scotland increased focus on providing greater support and opportunities for the on-going development of our coaches. We know that having high quality coaching is crucial to the development and sustainability of our sport. Not only will it help us develop better players to compete on the world stage but also help recruit and retain people across all levels of the game.
The high quality line-up of presenters delivered across a range of topics that are relevant to the modern game. In the morning, the group took part in two practical sessions: power hitting with ECB specialist coach Julian Wood; and Constraints led Coaching with Northumbria University Sports Coaching Lecturer Will Vickery. These were both fascinating presentations that highlighted modern methods and approaches to the game.
Julian`s `Power Hitting` session was brilliant and was so relevant to the trends in the modern game. The practical concepts, drills and ideas were complemented by the science behind the approach, and there`s no doubt about the importance of this area now, and in the future.
Will`s session around constraints led coaching highlighted for everyone that our players are the products of their environment. How we alter and condition that environment can help us achieve meaningful outcomes for our players in an engaging way that also strongly taps into player empowerment.
The afternoon sessions were focused on developing resilience in our athletes with Dr Mustafa Sarkar from Nottingham Trent University, and how to coach female athletes with Cricket Scotland`s Female Participation Manager, Nicola Wilson.
Mustafa`s session provided an understanding of what resilience is, how we can go about developing it in our athletes, and some practical ideas/tips for implementing this. Developing resilience, and the mental side of the game, is definitely an area we can make huge strides as a nation. The coaches learnt about how this can be integrated into your everyday training to develop more rounded, self-aware and resilient athletes that will be able to better cope with the challenges that cricket throws at them.
Nicola`s session provided some clear advice and methods for coaching female athletes. For some male coaches, there`s a slight fear when it comes to coaching females which mostly centres around not wanting to get it wrong. What Nicola`s session highlighted was that there are some subtle differences in approach needed when dealing with female athletes and teams but also recognising that it`s not rocket science. Genuinely getting to know your athletes and creating a female friendly environment were both strong themes of the session.
Cricket Scotland Head of Participation Ian Sandbrook commented:
“The Coaches Forum was a brilliant day with so much learning taking place. The range of topics covered were very relevant for all our coaches and the presenters were fantastic at getting across their concepts in such a practical way. I hope the coaches take away one or two little things from the day and implement them in their own coaching.”
Cricket Scotland are already looking forward to the 2019 version of these forums. If you have any ideas for topics for either the Club or Coaches Forum, we would love to hear from you.