County coaching team is honoured at Lord’s

Norfolk secured a notable victory at Lord's last weekend – as the county's cricket coach tutors were recognised as the best in the country.

The Norfolk team of cricket coach educators collected their prize from former England captain Nasser Hussain and current England batsman Ravi Bopara at an awards night sponsored by the ECB and Sky Sports.

The team consists of Norfolk player-coach Chris Brown, Mick Piggott, Chris Dalton, James Campbell-Johnston and Tom Davies, who are the trained tutors, and coach education administrator Tim Down. The Norfolk Cricket Board were represented by cricket development officer Kevin Denmark.

The NCB's cricket development manager, Kieron Tuck, said: 'This is a thoroughly deserved award for a particularly hard working, skilled and passionate team. Their enthusiasm and skill exhibited over the last few years on the numerous courses they run has ensured that the current and next generation of coaches will be well prepared to give participants at clubs and schools the best possible cricket instruction and enjoyment from the game.

'Theirs is a significant and lasting legacy to Norfolk cricket.'


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Lead tutor Chris Brown said: 'This is a high profile national award and as a team we are delighted to have been recognised by our peers and the coach education team at the ECB. We have a knack of creating the right environment for our candidates in our courses which has been recognised.'

Mick Piggott, who has more than 10 years' experience as a coach educator in Norfolk, added: 'It means a great deal to us as a team and we're immensely proud to be the recipients of this award.'

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Since 2007 the team have trained nearly 250 Level One coaches and 120 Level Two coaches, as well as scores of new ECB Cricket Young Leaders and Teachers on the ECB Cricket for Teachers courses.

Now in their fifth year, the awards are made by Sky Sports as part of their sponsorship of the ECB's Coach Education programme and are based on nominations received by the ECB's Coaches Association. ECB and Sky Sports recently announced that more than 45,000 coaches have graduated from the Sky Sports ECB Coach Education programme since it was first launched five years ago – including 11,000 who have received new qualifications in the last year alone.

Praising the winners, ECB chief executive David Collier said: 'These awards are an excellent way of recognising and rewarding the very significant contributions coaches make to the development of our non first-class game.'

Sky Sports commentator Nasser Hussain added: 'This is a fantastic programme that is proving how important coaching is to the game of cricket. Everyone at Sky Sports is immensely proud of our involvement and we congratulate all the winners.'

n Spaces are still available for the Norfolk Cricket Board's ECB Level One umpire training courses

The first course will run over a series of evenings in Norwich and starts on Monday, January 16, at Hewett School, starting at 7pm.

The second course will run over two Sundays at Fakenham Cricket Club, starting on March 4 at 10.30am.

The fee for both courses is �40 per person, and includes:

n One year's membership of the ECB ACO (Association of Cricket Officials)

n One year's membership of the NACO (Norfolk Association of Cricket Officials)

n All ECB course resources, including the Tom Smith Umpires 'bible' (new for 2012)

n Certificate on completion

Further details can be found on the NCB website at www.norfolkcricket.co.uk or by contacting lead tutor Ken Ellis on 01603 891384 or emailing ken.theresa@tiscali.co.uk

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