End-of season message to parents

Thank you to all of the parents and children who were involved in kids vs parents games and end-of-season presentations last Sunday, including those who helped prepare and serve the food.

I thought it worth sending out a short summary of the day for the benefit of those who weren’t able to attend but also to respond to some of the feedback which the club has received since.

Kids vs parents games

We started off with the under 9s and under 11s games running concurrently, with the under 11s game running for a little longer due to the number of players who were involved. We then had a combined under 13s and under 15s kids versus parents game.

All 3 games were played very competitively by both teams, with nobody holding back and giving their child or parent an easy ride! An example of this was my eldest son Max, who got me out 4 times in his one over, although I have to say that 2 of the wickets were shocking umpiring decisions by Max’s grandad (my own dad!)

In the end, I think the parents narrowly won all 3 games – somebody please correct me if I’ve got this wrong – but regardless of the results, I hope everybody enjoyed these games and very well done to all of the children and parents who took part!!

Investment in junior cricket

Our club is continually developing and moving in the right direction! We have invested a significant amount of time and energy into junior cricket this year, having…

• Increased the number of juniors we have at the club from about 40 in 2020 to nearer 80 in 2021. This of course brings with it new challenges, such as trying to give all of our players sufficient game time, whilst at the same time trying as a club to be competitive in our respective leagues.

• Provided club shirts and caps to all of our junior players. Thank you to Reid’s for sponsoring our junior shirts this year!

• Introduced an online membership form and bank transfer membership/subs – big thanks to Chris Taylor for all of the work he’s put into developing it.

• Provided Sixers coaches to help with Friday evening training to improve standards plus 4 full days of cricket camps which around 100 different children attended.

As a result some of our older junior players have had opportunity this season to play senior cricket in our 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams. Investment in junior cricket is key to future success of the club and we will aim to continue to develop and improve in this area as much as we can.

We have posted details on the club website of the individual trophy wins from each age group if you want to have a look. We have also posted on the club website a few team photos which have been taken during the season.

Thank you and well done to everybody!

I would like to say again a big thank you to all of our coaches this season – John Derry, Andrew McDermott, Stuart McDermott and Reuben Shuttleworth – and to everybody else who has helped out with Friday evening training and those who have scored or umpired in matches.

I would also like to say well done to all of our junior players, across all of our age groups, who have represented our club in league or cups matches this year, particularly those children who have not played competitive cricket before!


Feedback

A few parents have asked why we didn’t give out squad trophies to all of our junior players this year. This is not something we have previously done as a club. However, we are aware that this is something that junior football teams do and other local cricket clubs have also now started to give out this type of award. We will therefore look at introducing this, particularly for our younger age groups, from next year.

We have also received feedback from a few parents about our approach to team selection and player inclusion. Having nearly doubled the number of junior players who we have at the club this year, this was always going to be a challenge, particularly given the limited number of volunteer coaches we have.

We have tried to give our players in each age group the opportunity to play competitive matches, either league/cup matches or, for some age groups, intra-squad friendlies. However, cricket is quite a technical sport (more so than football!) and the scoring system of cricket means that, for example, an illegal ball when bowling is punished by the opposition receiving additional runs and in the u9s and u11s age groups, losing a wicket when batting results in a runs deduction. Therefore, we always face the challenge of picking a team of players who will be able to compete with the opposition or picking less experienced players who may struggle, and that could then have a detrimental impact on that child’s confidence to play cricket.

All of that said, we acknowledge that everybody wants their child to play as many matches in a season as possible. For next year, we are therefore going to look at whether it will be feasible to enter more than one team into our local cricket leagues for the age groups where we have a lot of players. However, that would have to be on the basis that more parents step forward and volunteer to coach and help run these teams – other volunteers would also be required to umpire and score in games for these additional teams. If we don’t get these volunteers it will not be possible to create these additional teams.

Please let me know if you would be interested in taking up a role at the club as either coach, umpire or scorer. The club will be more than happy to provide support and/or fund any training which you may require to fulfil any of these roles.

WhatsApp group usage policy

Can I please remind all parents that our WhatsApp groups should only be used for communicating details of or questions regarding training and matches. They should not be used to share personal opinions about how we operate as a club or views on other individuals who are associated with the club, be it players, coaches or other club members.

We welcome feedback from all parents. However, this should be sent as a private message to either myself or Steve Atkin (club chairman) and we will respond to you directly.

And finally….

This Friday, 10th September, is likely to be our final outdoor training session of the season (hopefully the weather stays fine enough for it to take place!). We will then commence indoor training (venue TBC) in January. We will post a message on the WhatsApp groups once we have further details on this.

We will also share with you details of all other events which are due to take place at the club during the autumn/winter seasons e.g. firework display, Christmas party etc.

It is important that we use the cricket club as much as we can outside of the summer cricket season. Please let me or Steve know if you have any ideas which we could take forward to prompt and increase the usage of the club during the autumn/winter period. This could be anything from games nights, quiz nights, karaoke, race nights, snail racing or anything else you can think of.

Regards, Andy Biddle
On behalf of Liversedge Cricket Club