Fielding eighteen junior teams plus having approximately sixty Twenty20 Blast and MILO in2CRICKET participants, the future of the North Hobart Cricket Club looks strong.
With these figures in mind, North Hobart Cricket Club President Jill Taylor regards the clubs junior program as one of the best in the state.
“From a playing point of view, the vision of our junior program is to create a clear pathway for anyone wishing to play cricket from entry level through to whatever level they are capable of playing,” said Taylor.
Taylor said that “natural progression of juniors through to the Premier League will ensure strength for the future of our proud club.”
As in any situation, having a strong junior program is similar to that of having strong foundations of a building. The Club will grow bigger thanks to a strong base at entry level, something that the clubs board pride themselves on. The North Hobart Junior program provides an opportunity for players to develop both cricket and social skills. The Demons also encourage volunteers to boost their experience and expertise within the volunteering community.
As well as providing an introduction to cricket and sport in general, the clubs junior program also creates lifelong relationships between families and the North Hobart Cricket Club. Dan Marsh, former Tasmanian Tigers Coach and Captain, and North Hobart Cricket Club Life Member, is a prime example of the club and family. Dan’s daughter Ella, 14 is now a permanent member of the Premier League Women’s and Girls Under 17 sides at North Hobart. Former North Hobart players Todd Pinnington, David Collins, Jon Dakin, and many more now have sons and daughters playing for their club. This is not only a sign that the clubs junior program is highly rated, but it is also a great reflection on the culture of the club at senior level.
North Hobart Cricket Club Life Member and Under 17 Coach David ‘Didge’ Collins played all of his junior cricket at North Hobart, as well as the majority of his senior cricket.
“I always felt as though I belonged and I still love being part of the clubs history. I was lucky enough to taste success over many seasons,” Collins said.
“I want Will and Sam (David’s sons) to be a part of the future and continue to grow in a strong culture that North Hobart strives to provide, the club is more than just a cricket club.”
North Hobart Cricket Club Life Member Paul Guinane plays a key role as the clubs Junior Development Officer. The MILO Twenty20 Blast and MILO In2CRICKET centres are well assisted by the clubs senior players, which provides an opportunity for the leaders of the club to revisit their younger years and to also give back to their community. In recent years, senior players such as Nicholas Varney, Kyle Scrimegour, Hannah Short, Taylah Purton, Harry Van Der Woude and many more have all held coaching roles with various junior teams. Through this, the club has seen a strong connection between junior and senior players, making transitioning into Premier League cricket easy for younger players. With the remainder of teams being coached by parents, all coaches hold a minimum of Level 0 coaching accreditation.
As part of the one club connection, in early February, the North Hobart Cricket Club held a junior clinic afternoon for their category 1 and 2 teams. Fundamental cricket skills such as batting, bowling and fielding were coordinated by senior players and coaches, including club Captain Jordan Silk and Vice Captain Alex Pyecroft. Club Batting Coach Dan Marsh and Junior Development Officer Paul Guinane were also present to share their knowledge of the game.
The vision for the North Hobart Cricket Club junior program is to:
1. Provide an opportunity to play cricket for as many young people as possible
2. Improve skills in an enjoyable environment
3. Be diverse and inclusive
4. Advocate for the club to attract more players and their families
5. To become longstanding North Hobart Cricket Club members
Club President Jill Taylor said that, “studies show that being part of a sporting club not only develops life skills, but also physical, emotional and social skills. If our club can help our members become more rounded human beings, then our work is worth the effort. It all start in the junior area and these juniors will one day go on to be role models for future junior intakes.”
In any social club, members are the heart and soul of the club. The more members, the bigger the heart and larger the soul. At North Hobart, the club focuses on increasing its heart and soul via welcoming new members to their junior program, allowing them to advance into Premier League cricket, all whilst bringing their family on the journey.