Howzat for a great idea?

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Cricket-keen youngsters across are to get cricket coaching sessions run by East Ren Cricket Club.

The council has agreed to lease the grass pitches at Woodfarm to the local club for a nominal £1 fee. In return, the club will offer East Ren schools an agreed number of free coaching hours.

A council spokeswoman explained the club will provide cricket training and teacher development within local schools and across the East Ren area.

East Renfrewshire Cricket Club (ERCC) will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the pitches.

Communities convenor Mary Montague said: “We are seeing a real appetite for cricket from our youngsters and there are plans to develop girls cricket and training for seniors.

“This proposal should enable better use of the pitches at Woodfarm, and means responsibility for their maintenance will fall to East Renfrewshire Cricket Club.”

The agreement follows a similar successful arrangement at Cowan Park in Barrhead where pupils from Barrhead, St Lukes and Mearns Castle High have been receiving free cricket lessons in return for the club leasing part of Cowan Park.

Now more young people can try it for themselves with this extensive new programme that offers a weekly club junior training night, which will take place at the new synthetic sports pitch in Cowan Park.

Taster sessions in schools will begin from the new term in August and with an out-of-school-hours cricket programme.

Communities convenor Mary Montague, said: “The development of opportunities for children and young people to play cricket in East Renfrewshire is a key part of our plan to provide pathways from school to local community sports clubs across a wide range of sports.

“Cricket is a growing sport in Scotland and is now played by increasing numbers of people. The partnership between sports services, the cricket club, Cricket Scotland and the Barrhead Community Sports Hub provides the opportunity to increase participation still further and improve the performance of players and coaches within East Ren.

Chair of the East Renfrewshire Cricket Club, Qamar Bhatti, said: “The establishment of the junior sessions show how multi-cultural and multi-ethnic the great sport of cricket is and how we can bring together youngsters and their families from all walks of life and backgrounds.”