Young people are being given the ‘chance to shine’ as a cricket club in South Tyneside launches its annual youth recruitment drive.
Marsden Cricket Club has already started its training programme for juniors and seniors in preparation of the new season and is keen to see more young people picking up a bat and ball at the weekly sessions.
In a bid to boost participation in the sport, the club will be again running its All Stars Cricket programme - an England and Wales Cricket Board initiative aimed at five to eight-years-olds - during the summer.
This year the club, based at Jack Clark Park in Horsley Hill Road, South Shields, has also earned Chance to Shine accreditation.
Chance to Shine is a national charity which aims to boost participation in cricket through schools and communities by linking in with local clubs.
The club, which is sponsored by Clearly Drinks Limited, currently has a number of level two coaches and one ECB level three coach.
What’s important to us as a club is creating a nurturing environment for young people to learn more about the game, learn new skills and to help them grow as players.Chris Mann
Head coach Chris Mann said: “What’s important to us is creating a nurturing environment for young people to learn more about the game, new skills and to help them grow as players.
“We have one of the most successful junior structures in the North and, through cricket, we aim to inspire young people to achieve and reach their full potential, not just in the game but in other aspects of their lives too.
“As a club, we’re pleased to be part of the Chance to Shine programme.”
Players Cameron Marshall, 11, and Jack Saveraux, nine, say they would recommend the club and the sport to their friends.
Cameron, from Jarrow, said: “I came once, got stuck into it, and wanted to play more of it.
“Coming here has helped to build up my confidence. I’d definitely recommend coming along to the club. It’s fun.”
Jack, from South Shields, said: “I’ve been playing for about three years and always at Marsden.
“My dad used to play cricket I just started playing. I came to some of the sessions and then I made it onto the team.
“It’s just a lot of fun. You learn a lot of skills which you take into the game when you play but you can also take them into your everyday life and you make lots of friends.”
Training sessions are held at Harton Technology College on Fridays from 7pm for those aged five -11 and from 8pm for those aged 12-15.
For details on the club and training sessions contact Chris on 07949 716 590, or visit Marsden Cricket Club on Facebook.