24 January 2012

Big hitter Napier drops in to meet University cricketers

Academy Director at Essex County Cricket Club John Childs, cricket scholarship holder Ben Moore and Graham Napier.

Twenty20 legend Graham Napier and Academy Director at Essex County Cricket Club (Essex CCC) John Childs met student cricketers at the University of Essex during a visit to the Colchester Campus.

The visit by Napier, who celebrates his Benefit Year in 2012, and Childs highlighted the partnership between the club and the University and coincided with Colchester Campus’ intermural indoor six-a-side cricket competition.

The University and Essex CCC are longstanding partners and in 2012 they are looking to increase links even further to support university-level cricket, offer new training opportunities to students, improve facilities at the Colchester Campus and highlight the opportunities to watch first-class cricket in the county.

Vice-president of the University of Essex Cricket Club Alex Collins said: “The University has well established corporate connections with Essex County Cricket Club. We are keen to develop grass roots links with the club.

“We want to encourage even more people to take an interest in playing cricket at Essex and show that we have a great club at the University.

“For me, cricket is also a fantastic part of the English summer and I want to help promote within the University the opportunities to go and see Essex play down at the Ford County Ground in Chelmsford.”

Napier, who holds the world record for the number of sixes hit in a first-class innings and a Twenty20 innings, said: “I think the whole partnership Essex County Cricket Club and the University are building is great. The new scholarship programme in particular is going to help the Essex team in the long term and mean some top sportsmen will be coming up through the University.”

In the coming year the partnership between the University and Essex CCC is set to:

  • Provide students with the chance to work with Essex coaches;
  • Support work to bring the University’s pitch up to Academy/second eleven standard;
  • Offer talented fast bowlers from the University cricket team the chance to attend the cricket club’s Fast Bowling Academy;
  • Promote the profile of Essex CCC within the student community and look for new opportunities to encourage students to attend Essex games.

In 2011 the University launched a new scholarship scheme for Academy players choosing to study at Essex with the first scholarship awarded to Youth Development squad member Tom Moore from Brentwood.

The University also sponsors Essex’s Junior Indoor League and the new Fast Bowling Academy. Meanwhile, Essex CCC promotes awareness of higher education through its County Age Group Squads and arranges visits to the Colchester Campus.

Other joint initiatives between the University’s Human Performance Unit and Essex CCC are being developed focussing on fitness and rehabilitation.


Note to Editors

High resolution photos are available from the event. For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377.

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