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25 Jun

Why Study with The Yorkshire Cricket College?

With the advent of central contracts for England players and the new Hundred competition, the opportunity to become a professional cricketer in the women’s game is now a realistic aim. The Yorkshire Cricket College is a fantastic place for female players to gain an education as well as focus on their cricketing development and excellence.

We sat down with year 1 students Phoebe, Jess and Grace to discuss how they have found their first year of college and how the college can provide the springboard to achieve their goals both on and off the pitch.

What are the standout benefits of attending the Yorkshire Cricket College?

PT – The college is going to give me the best chance to become a professional cricketer, I can’t wait for the South Africa tour to Cape Town in 2021. We are the first group of girls to attend the college and it’s been really easy to fit in. The classroom sessions are really interactive, so it’s helped me to socialise and contribute to every session.

JW – In March, the college arranged for us to complete the ECB Foundation 1 coaching course. As soon as I am 18, this will qualify me to coach younger and even older players by myself. Along with participating in NCS in October and the work experience opportunities inside Yorkshire Cricket, the college will help my employability options when I graduate.

GH – For me, the standout benefits include training twice a week with top coaches and the small classroom sizes which create a great environment to learn in. The assessments are all coursework based, there are no exams which allows us complete assignments at college or at home without the pressure of exams.

How have you found the education at the college?

GH – Some of the work can be challenging and our tutor pushes us to do extra research for the assignments but there is always help if you need it.

PT – Each lesson is a completely different format; I have really enjoyed each unit of the classwork, it’s great to be able to link each module to Cricket which makes the content relatable and develop more of your understanding of the game.

JW – I’m enjoying the course because we’re studying subjects that I didn’t learn in school – I really like the variety of topics and how I can relate to them through sport.

What are your future career and cricket ambitions?

PT – My ambition is to become one of the England Women’s Players’, and with the help of all the coaches, I really believe this can be achievable.

GH – I would like to work in the sports media industry, college will help me achieve this by offering work experience opportunities.

JW – To play cricket for England; having different coaches specialised on different areas of my game allows me to focus and structure my sessions to my weaknesses and hopefully achieve my goal.

From a cricket point of view, who have you had the chance to learn from at the college?

ALL – Working with Courtney Hill because she is also our coach on the girls’ pathways programme too.

JW – As well as the coaches in the college, we have had the opportunity to bowl at and talk to Lauren Winfield before she went to Australia on an England tour. It has also been great to talk to Yorkshire Diamond’s spinner, Katie Levick about her experiences as a female cricketer growing up, how the women’s game has developed over the past few years and the prospect for girls like us to become professional players. Opportunities like this widens the platform for you to learn and gain more knowledge on the game.

How have you found it practising with and competing against the wide range of cricketing abilities at college?

GH – I think that there is a good balance of cricketing abilities at the college where you can always find a challenge.

JW – I agree with Grace. I find some sessions challenging at times; the coaches push us outside our comfort zone, but this helps me to build self-confidence and belief in my game. Training with different abilities and gender was strange at the beginning but the lads weren’t bothered about us being girls.

PT – The lads haven’t used our gender against us, they are all still competitive in any scenario. For example, fitness training and batting against pace are both challenging but very useful when it comes to match scenarios.

With cricket built into your college timetable, what aspects of your game have improved the most?

PT – I have gained lots of confidence and resilience throughout this course which enables me to have a positive approach to all aspects of my game, particularly my technical ability and mental approach.

JW – It is difficult to believe that I have the opportunity to train as much as I do whilst completing the level 3 course at the same time! My fitness levels have significantly improved over the course of the last 7 months.

GH – I think that I am a better player because of college, I have been able to push myself and improve my confidence when playing.

What work experience opportunities are you looking forward to at the college and why?

JW – I am most looking forward the opportunity to coach younger players who are new to the sport or those who are higher up in the pathway.

GH – I’d like to learn more about coaching, marketing and media at Yorkshire Cricket. These are the areas that interest me the most and are there are great opportunities to do this as part of the level 3 course.

PT – I’m looking to participate in coaching for my work experience, as this will lead me to a clear understanding of what it is like and help me with further development of leadership skills in that environment

Would you recommend the college to your team mates and other female cricketers?

GH – I think that any of the girls playing for Yorkshire or club cricket should consider looking at the course. Not only is the cricket side of the college a great opportunity to improve and develop your game, but the academic side is interesting and gives you qualifications to do whatever you want after the 2-year programme if you work hard.

PT – Girls cricket has become more global and encouraged more girls to play, so this can be your chance to improve and make the best of your cricketing ability.

JW – Being a female in the college brings you out of your shell and definitely make you more confident both in and outside of cricket. It’s suitable for anyone and even if you feel nervous about joining you will make friends straight away and fit in perfectly!

To learn more about the Yorkshire Cricket College please email nick.robinson@yorkshirecricketfoundation.com

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