Ahead of the highly anticipated Test match between England and South Africa at the Cooper Associates County Ground which is due to get underway tomorrow (Monday June 27th), members of the England squad have been visiting local clubs to meet some of the region’s young cricketers.
On Monday, Heather Knight attend Ilton CC, where she helped to lead a training session for 25 women and girls. The opportunity for the visit came thanks to a #Funds4Runs grant Ilton received last year from LV=.
The grant has been used to buy hardball kit for the women’s team, who have since started making good progress in the hardball game.
#Funds4Runs is a £1million initiative co-funded by LV= and the ECB to help grassroots cricket clubs recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Its aim is to support 4,000 coaches and at least 20,000 players from all levels of the game each year.
Later in the week, Freya Davies and Sophia Dunkley visited Kingsmore Primary School in Bridgwater, whilst Tammy Beaumont worked with Taunton Deane CC’s Women and Girls section before working with a Super 1s group. The inspiring week was completed when Amy Jones attended a Dynamos and girls’ session at Taunton CC.
Following the memorable few days, Colette Gooding, Somerset Cricket Foundation Women and Girls Development Officer said: “Over the last week it has been great to have England Women’s players go out into the community and meet local clubs and schools.
“All involved have loved the opportunity to meet the players and have been inspired by the visit. I also know that many of them are excited to come and watch the Test match in Taunton.
“Women and Girls cricket has grown significantly in Somerset over the last few years and giving young players the opportunity to meet their role models is something that they will remember for ever.”
Amber Casey, of Ilton CC added: “On Monday evening, our club was buzzing with women and girls for the guest appearance of Heather Knight. We got to experience something that, if I’m honest, I wasn’t ever sure we would.
“Instantly, Heather made everyone feel at ease and it was great to witness the women play with a smile on their faces. The girls absolutely adored having her there.
“For many of us, she is our role model. She inspires many to play the game and to have her at the cricket club was an honour. We are very lucky and would like to thank LV= for allowing us to be a part of it all.”