Limavady club goes '˜all out' on its drive to re-introduce youth cricket

A Limavady sports club is going '˜all out' in its drive to ensure they'll be guaranteed cricketers for future generations.

Tuesday, 28th March 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:52 pm
Pupils who participated in the blitz at Roe Valley Leisure Centre.

Limavady Cricket and Rugby Football Club (LCRFC) say they’ve accepted their provisions for youth cricket at the club have been “wholly inadequate and pretty much non existent over the past decade”.

Youth convenor, and head cricket coach, Ian McCluskey said: “It is widely agreed that cricket at the club is unsustainable without youth teams whose players are required in the future.”

Mr. McCluskey hopes they’ll be able to get over that sticky wicket by bowling over youngsters in the town with a taste of the game.

In partnership with Cricket Ireland and Sports NI, LCRFC recently trained eight new cricket coaches and, since the start of the year, coaches have offered all schools in the Roe Valley area the opportunity to avail of weekly coaching sessions, or take part in cricket blitz days.

“Numerous schools accepted the offer and were given several hours of free coaching in respect of P6 and P7 classes,” explained Mr. McCluskey.

On Wednesday 22nd March, eight schools - Drumachose P.S., Termoncanice P.S., Central P.S., Gaelscoil Leim an Mhadaidh, Drumrane P.S., Rossmar P.S., Ballykelly P.S., Roe Valley IPS - attended the cricket blitz day held at Roe Valley Leisure Centre from 10am until 2pm.

The sports hall was a sea of colour with 150 youngsters taking part in “several fun, yet technical activities to promote their catching, batting and throwing techniques”.

After lunch, the schools played ‘kwik cricket’ matches against one another; a format of the sport played with plastic bats and a softer ball.

The blitz day was run by LFCRC in partnership with Cricket Ireland. Funding for the event was granted by Sports NI.

“Multiple trained coaches and volunteers participated to ensure the kids had a great day,” said Mr. McCluskey.

Members of PSNI Roads Policing team also attended in a police vehicle, and chatted with young people present about road safety.

“This is not the end of the event, but merely the start,” said Mr. McCluskey. “Four indoor sessions are planned for Thursday evenings at the Leisure Centre from 5.30-6.30pm starting on March 30th. A combination of indoor and outdoor practice will follow over the coming months.

“LCRFC are committed to once again involving youth cricket at the club and their main priority is entering an under 11’s team into the local youth league this season,” said Mr. McCluskey.

“The club is currently installing a new artificial grass wicket which will be suitable for the kids to play on throughout year.”

Mr. McCluskey said LCRFC wants to thank Cricket Ireland and Sports NI for making the events possible, and said the use of the Leisure Centre was “invaluable”.

LCRFC is inviting boys and girls in P5 -P7 to attend their indoor sessions starting on Thursday, March 30th at Roe Valley Leisure Centre.