South West Development Camps: Connecting the region

The Somerset, Devon and Cornwall Under 13 Boys and Under 13 Girls squads came together at Blundell’s School recently for the inaugural South West Development Camps.

The camps have been created to provide an extensive player development opportunity which will enable those involved to learn and develop in a high-quality environment amongst their peers from across the whole of the South West.

During the three-day residential camps, players were challenged at a number of levels, with the emphasis being on skill development and decision-making; with all three counties having the opportunity to shape the content of the sessions, which covered all three facets of the game.

In addition to the on-field work, attendees also held informative Q&A sessions with professional players from Somerset CCC and Western Storm who have progressed through Pathway cricket in the South West.

Following the camps, Somerset Pathway Coaching Lead, Andrew Griffiths said: “We couldn’t be happier with how the first South West Development Camp went and it was incredibly exciting to be involved in the delivery of something not seen before anywhere in the country.

“The collaborative approach from a coaching and playing perspective was something we have never done before, and we saw huge benefit in generating an aligned understanding of our content across the camp.

“Not only did this facilitate more intentional development opportunities for players and coaches alike but, from a Somerset perspective, it was fantastic to increase our awareness of the young cricketers across the region who may go on to receive more support within our environment in the future.

“Many of the coaches delivering the camp have been involved in the South West Coaching Programme, a coach development programme that we’ve delivered to numerous pathway coaches across the three counties over the past eight months. This Development Camp therefore served as a fantastic opportunity to bring to life many of the areas covered on the course and to support each other as coaches with delivery.

“Besides dryer weather, we couldn’t have wished for much more from the first year and I can’t wait to see where we can take it in the future.”

Kieran Peters, Somerset Pathway Coach & Women and Girls Lead, commented: “I’m thrilled to reflect on the success of the inaugural South West Development Camps. It was a unique camp that prioritised player development across all three counties.

“The partnerships allowed us to create a great environment where skill development and learning were at the forefront. We saw tremendous growth in all players, thanks to the aligned coaching messaging and shared objectives.

“The camp provided a platform for both players and coaches to explore new approaches and to enhance their understanding of the game. It was great to see the concepts from our South West Coaching Programme come to life, providing invaluable experiences for everyone involved. The mixed teams fostered excellent cricket and relationship-building among the players, and these are crucial skills for their future. I’m excited to see how we can build on the camp in the coming years.”

Sandy Allen, Pathway Manager at Devon Cricket said: “We have long-held strong working relationships with Somerset and Cornwall, and it has been great to see all of these years of collaboration come together to create this unique development camp experience for players across the South West.

“The first year of the camps has been really successful and we are looking forward to continuing them in the years to come.”

Chris Hunkin, Performance Manager at Cornwall Cricket, added: “The development camp at Blundell’s has been one of the most exciting concepts within pathway cricket that I’ve seen. The development opportunities it creates for players and coaches alike are extensive.

“The collaborative nature of it extends the benefits beyond just extra playing and training time into a wide-ranging experience that creates huge growth potential in the players and coaches involved.”