England Stars Aid Cricket Students' Development

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The women’s cricket teams of both England and Australia are preparing to lock horns in their Ashes series later this week, and their progress will be keenly followed by one set of University of Worcester students.

England all-rounder Jenny Gunn and off-spinner Danni Hazell spent time with BSc (Hons) Cricket Coaching and Management students earlier this year, demonstrating training drills and practice routines used at international level.

This visit was organised in conjunction with Worcestershire Cricket, particularly Cricket Development Coach and University of Worcester graduate, Katie Blunt.

Course Leader Kelvin Beeching explains: “We welcomed both Jenny and Danni to the University earlier this year and they were able to pass on their knowledge and experience from the world of professional sport, which really benefited our students.

“Many of our graduates go on to work alongside professional sportspeople, so this experience was invaluable and we all wish Jenny, Danni and the entire England squad good luck for the coming series.”

One student that has already experienced cricket on the biggest stage is David Millward (pictured), who begins his second year at the University in September.

David worked as a volunteer throughout the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy – one of the highest profile events in international cricket – which was held at three stadiums across England and Wales during the early summer months.

He says: “We were encouraged to apply through the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) website, and I was lucky enough to be shortlisted for interview and then selected.

“I was part of the Activation team during the tournament – we looked after the on and off-field entertainment, things like the flag ceremonies, and the between-innings entertainment, and generally just making sure the spectators enjoyed their day.

“For my final two shifts I was given the Team Leader position, so had the responsibility of heading the team up. Due to the size and scale of the tournament, there was a lot of pressure to make sure everything ran smoothly and to plan, but that was something I thrived on and really enjoyed.”

David says that the opportunity to experience diverse modules including Sports Coaching, Management and Marketing at the University of Worcester helped to develop both his confidence and ability to work at one of the sport’s premier events.

“The nature of the modules available gave me the opportunity to develop my knowledge of a number of different areas, but coaching is something I am still very interested in,” he says. “In that respect, it was great to be able to learn from Jenny and Danni when they came in.

“They’ve obviously experienced cricket at the highest level, so they knew exactly what they were talking about and the drills were very organised. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on the women’s Ashes and hoping that England can regain the urn.”