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County Cricket in Safe Hands with University Student and Graduate

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A Sports Coaching graduate and a current student, both from the University of Worcester, have started their professional careers with the Worcestershire County Cricket Board.

Jonathon Hancock and Katie Blunt have been appointed as Cricket Development Coaches for the Board. As part of their roles, they will create and deliver cricket coaching programmes to primary and secondary schools.

Katie, who is a third-year Sports Coaching Science Development student at the University, is responsible for the programmes in the East district. She said: “When they called me to say that I got the job I was totally over the moon. I have always wanted to get into coaching professionally, as I want to do something that can provide the same opportunities to children that I had when I was younger.”

The 20-year-old from Stourbridge and current Worcestershire Young Coach of the Year, started coaching at the age of 16, having practiced the sport from the age of seven. Following her time at the University of Worcester she plans to specialise in disability sport coaching in the future.

Jon, who recently completed his Masters degree in Sports Coaching at the University of Worcester, is responsible for the South of the County. He said: “The course at the University of Worcester is very challenging. Everything that I learnt during my time here, from life skills to specialist knowledge, I have put into practice for my new role.

“This job was the ideal opportunity to start coaching that I have always been searching for. By completing the ECB Level 2 award and having the opportunity to apply and blend this knowledge with my two degrees at the University, certainly gave me the edge to be successful in the interview process.”

“Before I came to Worcester, I always wanted to be a professional cricket player. I still want to be a cricket player, but the experience at the University of Worcester opened my eyes into coaching”, Jon added.

“The University has helped us both with these applications. The coaching science team at the University has helped us and really challenged us to develop great employability skills,” Katie said.

Tom Hill, Cricket Development Director for the Worcestershire Cricket board, said: “Both Katie and Jon are wonderful ambassadors for the University of Worcester. As a panel we were highly impressed by their knowledge, enthusiasm and vision for cricket development, as well as their readiness for the interview process. We are excited to have them on board and we look forward to getting them both started in the County.”

He added: “With the recently launched cricket degree at the University, we look forward to supporting and working with these students to develop opportunities and the game in Worcestershire. As one of 39 County Cricket Boards nationally, when recruiting to the development team we always look for experience of working with County Cricket Boards and this is something of which we are keen to build on with the University of Worcester.”

Mick Donovan, Head of the University of Worcester’s Institute of Sport & Exercise Science, said: “We are delighted for Katie and Jon. They have worked extremely hard in developing their coaching knowledge and experience and I am sure they will have a major impact on the development of the game in the County.”

For information on all courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk