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by Cricket World & Knebworth Park CC Tuesday 23 June 2020
Even video coaching and garden cricket ideas were gaining minimal interest.
Positive steps were needed to turn the tide which was exactly what happened in a real success story at Knebworth Park Cricket Club in Hertfordshire.
While some clubs chose to shelve youth cricket altogether for this year or struggled to stage any, at Knebworth numbers have taken a surprising upturn.
When the prospect of a Junior cricket catastrophe looked possible, volunteers didn't idly sit back and wait for covid to end. They took a determined, ambitious approach by tirelessly renovating the practice nets suffering from winter damage to the mats and netting.
The groundsman was also hard at work making sure the two squares and grass practice wickets would be ready whenever needed.
Once nets sessions were permitted, coaches took much time and effort to stimulate interest with an inspiring programme. This was backed up with all procedures, sanitisation, administration, and security in place.
At first this attracted a trickle of interest, but once larger groups were allowed, the numbers flooded in.
The club set up coaching plans with plenty of coaches and helpers ensuring there was the capability to handle all the enthusiastic youngsters, within the confines of covid, as they all had to be divided into small groups.
Numbers are now way above expectations and growing each day, the like of which hasn't been since the 2005 Ashes.
As well as small group coaching sessions scattered across the club's two adjoining grounds, on separate evenings they are running mini games adhering to covid19 directives on three specially prepared grass wickets.
James Hobbs, the club's Juniors chair, said: 'To see all the smiling faces on the boys and girls makes our efforts worthwhile after parents said their children were grumpy and bored penned in at home during the lockdown.'
©Cricket World 2020