OWZAT FOR A PARTNERSHIP?
Cambridge United are delighted to announce a new partnership with Cambridge Granta Cricket Club.
As part of this exciting development, Cambridge United will support the cricket club's senior teams, but particularly focus on increasing the opportunities for youngsters by further growing the coaching provision for junior age groups within the colts section.
The collaboration will also see Cambridge United work with the cricket club, primarily by using the U's growing youth development and community resources, to expand the delivery of cricket coaching programmes to a wider audience during school holidays.
Cambridge Granta Cricket Club, who play their first team home fixtures at Clare College Sports Ground and therefore share the facility with the U's, compete in the East Anglian Premier League, the highest level of club cricket within East Anglia. Last season they finished third, having been runners up in 2013 and champions in 2010 and 2011.
Currently Cambridge United, in conjunction with its charitable arm, the Community Trust, delivers a range of sports incorporated into the club's School Sport Programme, which is being rolled out in over 60 primary schools across the region. Adding further Kwik Cricket would be a welcome addition to the club’s scope of delivery in the summer term.
This latest news is another step towards the club's aims at increasing the number of sporting opportunities available in the city to children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
Cambridge United Chief Executive Jez George, commented: "By partnering with the senior cricket club in Cambridge and delivering another sport, we think that we can engage with a new demographic of youngsters and potential Cambridge United supporters."
"Cambridge Granta share our vision for youth development and have many examples of young players graduating to representative teams, county cricket and even international honours."
One such example is Max Holden, who played last summer for Cambridge Granta, but has recently signed a four year professional contract with Middlesex and is currently representing England U19's in the ICC World Cup. Holden also played for the U's Academy from Under 8's to Under 11's.
George continued: "Our shared vision is that as well as providing these excellence pathways, we should also promote opportunities for players of all ages and abilities, to enjoy participation in sport."
"We will initially focus on supporting Ian Reid and the Granta coaches, as well as integrating their first team players in the coaching of these youngsters, much as we do currently at Cambridge United, in addition to involving our own community coaches.
"In the future, we will look to increase the scope, especially within schools and developing a girls section."
Chairman of Cambridge Granta Cricket Club, Nigel Atkinson said: "CGCC are pleased and honoured to have been approached by Jez George (Cambridge United CEO) to form a partnership between the two clubs.
"With both parties involved in community activities, and successful in their sporting activities, a partnership seems logical.
"Up to 200 children aged 5-15 years old, attend weekly cricket coaching at Clare College Sports Ground, currently delivered by Cambridge Granta Cricket Club's players and coaches. In the coming season a number of Cambridge United community coaches, who have cricket coaching qualifications, will also be present, to support the club's junior players."
He continued: "The senior sides, in particular the first team, are looking forward to receiving professional support from Cambridge United, which will include access to their staff, their gym, analysis and more.
"It's an exciting time for all at the club and hopefully the partnership will develop over many years, to the benefit of both clubs and the community."
Picture Credit: Cambridge News