Sunday, 21 July 2019

Cricket festival proves a huge success

A CRICKET festival was held for youngsters in Henley on Tuesday.

A CRICKET festival was held for youngsters in Henley on Tuesday.

Thirty pupils from Chiltern Edge and Highdown took part in the event at Henley Cricket Club’s Brakspear Ground.

It followed three months of weekly coaching sessions by Performance Cricket at the two schools as well as at Gillotts.

Peter Neville, who set the programme up, said: “What we’re finding at the cricket club is that we’ve got a very strong youth section but we’re not getting older children from state schools because it’s not being played there.

“We’re very keen to put some cricket into state school.”

The festival, which included matches between the schools, was the culmination of the programme.

Neville, who also sponsored the event on behalf of his company Elegant Homes, said: “It gives them the opportunity to play on a proper cricket pitch, which Ashton Agar was playing on a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s been excellent. To see these boys, who have never played properly before, to come off the pitch with a massive smile on their face is tremendous.

“Hopefully this will give them the inspiration to come down and do it properly.”

Chris Ellison, a former director of cricket at Henley who is now director of Performance Cricket, said: “It was a wonderful day and all the boys enjoyed themselves.

“To play at a Home Counties Premier League ground at the age of 13 and 14 is a big opportunity.

“They played competitive cricket and there was a lot of talent on show. Hopefully these guys will go and play regular cricket in local clubs like Henley.”

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