Juniors’ coach rewarded
A CRICKET coach from St Neots has been commended for his work in revitalising his club s junior section. Chris McKay, 45, was recognised as part of the Sky Sports coach reward and recognition scheme for his work with Eaton Socon Cricket Club. McKay was on
A CRICKET coach from St Neots has been commended for his work in revitalising his club's junior section.
Chris McKay, 45, was recognised as part of the Sky Sports coach reward and recognition scheme for his work with Eaton Socon Cricket Club.
McKay was one of just 80 cricket coaches from around the country recognised for his outstanding service to the community throughout the season.
McKay, who joined the club as a player 27 years ago, said: "It was very humbling to have been honoured in such a way and to be presented on the pitch at Trent Bridge alongside Mike Atherton.
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"Although it was a day to celebrate, it was a good opportunity to swap ideas with some of the top club coaches from around the country."
McKay took over the junior section at Eaton Socon six years ago and has seen the numbers and interest grow season-on-season - more than 100 young cricketers now turn up to training on Friday evenings.
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Under McKay's stewardship Eaton Socon has entered a development team of young cricketers into the Hunts League. The team won promotion from Division 5 at the first attempt last season.
McKay added: "The development team is about blooding players aged 15 and upwards to get them used to playing in a competitive environment.
"Equally, Eaton Socon is about giving everyone a chance to play cricket, no matter what their ability level.
"There is a real buzz about the club at the moment with the recent 24-hour cricket marathon and that bodes well for the future."
Since McKay began working with Eaton Socon's junior sides, they have won 14 titles at all age groups and unearthed young stars such as Jonathan Carpenter.
Eaton Socon chairman Bob Humphrey said: "Chris's dedication to the club is quite incredible.
"He has revitalised the club with his imagination - he is an exceptional guy."
Also recognised was Hunts Cricket Board batting coach Tom Huggins.
Former Northamptonshire player Huggins, 24, has been commended for his work with batsmen aged 12-17 in Huntingdonshire.
Huggins, whose brother Oliver plays for Godmanchester, currently plays for East Anglian Premier League side Bury St Edmunds.
Kevin Clement, cricket development consultant at the Hunts Cricket Board, said: "Both Chris and Tom have rightly been commended for their dedication to cricket in Huntingdonshire."
In addition to rewarding long-standing servants of cricket coaching, Sky Sports is working in partnership with the ECB to provide coaching scholarships.
Coaches in the scheme will receive a 50 per cent bursary when attending and completing an ECB level two education course.