Norfolk Under-13s preparing for special tour of South Africa

NorfolkU13s tour team for South Africa (back row, from left) coach and tour manager Paul Newman, Jac

NorfolkU13s tour team for South Africa (back row, from left) coach and tour manager Paul Newman, Jacob Rhodes, James Hardy, Eddie Darley, Jake Mermagen, Sam Grisewood, WillHollis and assistant coach LukeCaswell; (fron, from left) Kieran Spencer, Harry Williams, Dani Long-Martinez, Dan Hastings (captain), Aidan Browne and CallumMetcalf. - Credit: Submitted

Twelve boys from the Norfolk Under-13 cricket team will be setting off on a trip of a lifetime this week.

The youngsters are heading to South Africa, to not only continue their cricket education but to experience the vast cultural differences and history of the country.

Along with some parents and their three coaches – team manager and former Norfolk captain Paul Newman, Luke Caswell and Kevin Denmark – the Norfolk U13s will be heading to Cape Town.

The team, their families and Norfolk Cricket Board have been working hard to raise funds for the trip, which will include visiting Baphumelele Children's Home based in Khayelitsha township.

They intend to carry out coaching sessions with local children, as well as play a match, and are taking sport equipment, clothing and stationery, thanks to donations and support from local businesses.


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They will also visit the township of Langa, will play three further matches against local sides, visit Table Mountain and the town Stellenbosch, as well as the home of Western Province cricket, Newlands.

Team manager Newman is hoping the players will learn plenty about their games, as well as enjoying a memorable trip.

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'I've had them for three winters now and I know their games inside out,' Newman explained.

'What we're looking for is for them to use control. They are at the stage where they are confident and have the technical strength but that only counts for so much, now it's about learning how to put it into games and showing that mental strength.

'In the three winters we've had there's been a massive improvement on the fielding side, huge strides on batting but we're still a bit of a work in progress on getting them to bowl as a unit.'

But Newman, who spent the winter of 1987/88 in Cape Town as a player, wants to make sure the players take away plenty of happy memories as well.

'A lot of these players have been together since they were nine or 10 years old and a lot of the parents know each other now as well,' he continued. 'So it's not just about the cricket, it's about them experiencing a different way of life.'

The Norfolk U13s squad for the 2015 season is due to be confirmed following the trip, with much of the squad likely to be retained.

U13s captain, Dan Hastings, said: 'Playing against overseas players will be a fabulous experience; one I am really looking forward to. The four matches we play are against local club and school teams, based in and around Cape Town.

'Whilst on tour, we get to visit the Baphumelele Children's Home; the charity we are supporting. We are taking them some gifts, which we hope will help to enhance the daily lives of the children who stay there.

'We will also have an opportunity to experience some of the local landmarks, such as the Langa Township, where we play our first match; Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years and the Cape Peninsula Coast.

'This is a once in a lifetime experience, which would not have been possible without the fantastic support and generosity we have received from people.

'On behalf of the squad, I would like to say a massive thank you to the sponsors, coaches and especially our parents, who have fundraised tirelessly over the past 12 months.'

The tour has been supported by main kit sponsors Almary Green, training kit sponsors Eastern Voice & Data and Hadley Taylor, additional shirt sponsors Openfield & Nelson County, and a host of other local companies and organisations.

Have you got a youth sport story? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or send an email to david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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