Whilst much of the focus in the sports pages and on the website is on the achievements of the 1st XI as they seek promotion to Division 1, it is worth reflecting on the success story that underpins the club’s future sustainability – the thriving junior section. In recent years, Broadstairs’ junior cricketers have enjoyed county- and nationwide success, most notably reaching the national finals of the U13 and U15 competitions and being crowned national champions in 2016. Many of the players involved in those squads have now progressed to adult cricket and are key members of the current 1st XI.
Recognising the importance of investment in a hight quality and inclusive youth programme, Broadstairs CC is currently the only club in Thanet offering junior cricket. As a result, participation in all the programmes has grown substantially this year, as illustrated by the Saturday morning All Stars and Dynamos sessions for 5-8 and 8-11 year-olds respectively, where up to 60 young cricketers hone their skills in a fun and energetic introduction to the game. In junior hardball, each of the age groups (U11, U13 and U15) have regular Canterbury League matches and weekly training sessions involving around 20 players per squad.
All of this takes a great deal of time, organisation and commitment from the club members as well as tremendous support and engagement from parents. This season, we were delighted to be awarded a grant of £1000 from the ECB as part of their Inspired to Play programme which aims to increase the number of children participating in recreational cricket. This grant has been invaluable to the club in helping to recruit a team of coaches from across the club that can deliver the junior programme and in so doing, contribute to the future prosperity of the game at all levels.