To mark the launch of a new school cricket club at Nobel International School Algarve this term, pupils from the age of 7 to 14 all had the chance to bowl, bat and try out their hand-eye coordination under the expert eyes of Warwickshire County Cricket Club´s Development Coach Andy Turnbull and fellow cricket coach Rory Turnbull.
Andy, Development Coach for Warwickshire CCC, led the coaching. His own interest in coaching started when he was at university, volunteering with Tanworth and Camp Hill CC, aiming to restore the club´s junior section. After his success, with brother Rory, in building up the junior club to just under 100 young players under 13, he was offered a contract by Warwickshire CCC in 2016 to promote all cricket activity across Birmingham in schools and clubs, and to work with Warwickshire´s Young Players´ Academy. Andy has also coached cricket in Cape Town and jumped at the chance to visit the Algarve to coach more juniors.
He said: “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to spend two days introducing cricket at Nobel Algarve. Considering only a handful of the boys and girls had ever played before, we were genuinely impressed with their willingness to try something new and to listen and work with us so attentively. They had a lot of natural ability, which is a great start. With each group between Year 3 and 10, we introduced batting and bowling skills and the key principles and aims of the game, and hope that many will now take the opportunity to take part in the new opportunities to play here. We are already planning when to return to follow up and see the progress. Cricket is a game that develops so many transferable sports skills and values, so we are honoured to have been here at the beginning of the school´s cricket story.”
Head of School Mike Farrer said: “Following the successful launch of rugby last year with our senior pupils, and some exciting fixtures at Loulé RFC, we are delighted to be now able to offer a second international school sport, cricket, to our younger pupils – and what better time than in the lead up to the Cricket World Cup next year? I see this is a fantastic step forward for sport at the school and cannot wait until we are able to host our first official fixture or to take a team on tour. The sport has proved popular with both boys and girls so far, which is very encouraging to see.”
The masterclass sessions culminated with a fun parent-pupil fixture on the Saturday morning and the club, now running for Primary children twice a week, hopes to attract new followers and help towards developing a taste for cricket with young people in the Algarve.