Howzat! Girls open a new innings at Addington cricket club

One of the country’s oldest cricket clubs is opening a new chapter in its history next week with the start of a two-year project with backing from The Oval, the Lord’s Taverners and Croydon Council to offer free introductory sessions in the game for girls.

Addington cricket clubStarting next Wednesday, October 8, Addington (1743) Cricket Club – a clue to the club’s formation more than 250 years ago is in its title – is offering special cricket coaching sessions to girls aged between nine and 13 years. Over the autumn and winter, the sessions will be held every Wednesday, from 4.30pm, in the plush new facilities at Quest Academy’s Monk’s Hill Sport Centre, a short walk from the Gravel Hill tram stop. During the summer, the sessions will be at the cricket club’s ground.

“Whether you’re a complete beginner, have played just a little at school, or play at a club already, we would love to see you come along to make new friends, learn new skills from qualified coaches and have some fun,” the organisers say.

The club heard this week that they had received additional money towards the project from Croydon Council, adding to the support they have had from several schools in the Addington and New Addington areas, plus funding from the Lord’s Taverners charity and Surrey’s cricket development programme.

The Surrey Cricket Board’s Level 3 community coach Vicki Howard, will lead the programme, ably supported by other fully approved coaches who are all DBS registered, first aid-trained, safeguarding children certified, and have ECB Coaches Association insurance.

The innovative project represents the latest stage in the turnaround of the club, one of the hidden gems of Addington Village. Three years ago, residents were concerned about the demise of the club and its grounds, on Addington Village Road.

A newly formed committee set out to make Addington the “Home for Croydon Junior Cricket”. Croydon Playing Fields Association, Croydon Schools’ Cricket Association and the Croydon School Sports Partnership have all given vital support towards the transformation.

The club’s entire facility is offered free of charge to local schools for their cricket practice and games. The club plays “village” cricket on a Sunday and has a full fixture list of 24 games throughout the summer. Strong links with Addiscombe Cricket Club sees the club host various Addiscombe colts’ teams and Addiscombe teams play their Surrey league matches at the ground on Saturdays.

This week’s latest grant from Croydon Council will pay towards an artificial wicket and mobile nets as an additional coaching facility for all ground users, including the new girls’ cricket club.

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