10 Sep 14

Howzat for Hartlepool help

YOUNG cricketers were bowled over by a grant from Hartlepool power station which will see the juniors face a bowling machine used by many professional clubs.

Hartlepool cricket club’s junior section applied to the power station for help and was given £3100 to buy a state-of-the-art bowling machine and also to train more junior coaches.

The battery-operated machine can replicate spin, swing or pace bowling and deliveries can reach up to 80mph.

Alan Smith, Chairman Hartlepool Junior Cricket Club, said: “The acquisition of a bowling machine has helped the development of many of our young cricketers and will continue to do so in years to come.

“By varying the speed, line and length of deliveries the machine enables the coaches to help batsmen improve their techniques very quickly.”

The donation came from EDF Energy’s Sporting Legacy fund which was set up after the London Olympics to help local groups. A number of groups in and around Hartlepool have received donations.

Simon Parsons, station director at Hartlepool power station, said: “I know the clubs we have helped have benefitted greatly from the legacy fund, they have been able to bring in new specialist equipment and vitally bring in or train more coaches.

“The cricket club has developed more junior coaches which will really help the youngsters improve their skills.

“And who knows we may see the next England captain coming from Hartlepool.

“And although the EDF Energy’s Sporting Legacy fund has now come to an end the benefit to the local Hartlepool community will go on for many years to come.”

Alan Smith added: “The support from EDF Energy is a massive boost for junior cricket at Hartlepool Cricket Club - we currently field junior teams at under-9s 11s, 12s, 13s,15s and 17s.

“The grant from EDF Energy will help the club to further develop nationally qualified coaches to ensure that young players develop their skills and really enjoy their cricket.”