As a club, we are committed to providing opportunities for children and young adults to learn about the joys of playing cricket, whilst also developing their abilities through a range of age groups. At Great Horwood, the success of the youth section is seen as being critical to the future of the club. We have the support of ECB Level 1 and 2 coaches, team managers and senior players in facilitating a development programme, as well as a firm commitment from the whole club. The club has adopted “Safe Hands” into its Constitution and has achieved ECB Clubmark accreditation during 2009 as well as ECB Focus Club status. The club has maintained the standards required to achieve re-accreditation to both of these awards. This ensures and verifies that high standards are applied to every aspect of youth cricket at the club. The long-term objectives of the Youth Section are to have teams at all age groupings from Under 10 through to Under 16, coupled with a stated Policy of providing playing opportunities that will enable Young Adults to transition into Senior Cricket within the club.
For 2017, the club has appointed Sam Willett as its Youth Manager. Sam organises and supervises the weekly Thursday evening training sessions. Sam is an extremely experienced cricketer, who is working to achieve his Level 2 coaching award. He has played cricket at a high level since his early teens, including playing for Northamptonshire, England Schoolboys, Rushden Town as well as Great Horwood. A high quality batsman and wicketkeeper, Sam’s knowledge of the game and natural empathy towards youth cricketers, marks him out as an exemplar leader of our youth section.
Supporting Sam, the club is fortunate to have an extremely hard-working welfare manager in Sharon Taylor. Sharon’s vocation gives her the difficult skills needed to conduct this vital role and her hard-working approach to making the youth section really work is another key factor in driving the youth section forward.