New Heywood CC under-9s coach Kathryn Cross is a product of the Heywood CC youth cricket system who has become arguably the most successful player ever to come out of Crimble.
Kate (as she is known by most people), 20, has been in the England ladies squad and it seems only a matter of time before she breaks into the international team.
This year she is combining her studies at Leeds Uni with her ambitions of becoming an international player but, fortunately for Heywood, she’s also running the newly-formed under-9s side.
Here she talks about the challenges ahead and what she hopes she can do to help the new generation of Heywood cricketers get off to the perfect start in their cricketing career.
HCC: How excited are you about running an under-9s team at Heywood? Is it a daunting prospect or something to look forward to?
Kate Cross: I’m very excited, but also a little nervous because being in charge of a team is something completely new for me. And with the team being so young, I know I’m going to have my work cut out for me but I really looking forward to getting started with it all.
HCC: What do you hope the kids can achieve with you as coach?
KC: The main thing for me is that the kids enjoy it. For a lot of them, it will be a new experience to play cricket and so I just want to make sure that they associate cricket with fun, and come back for more. Obviously, I’ll be looking to help develop some of the older players so that they are ready to move up into the U11s team in the next couple of seasons.
HCC: What do you think you will bring to coaching young children? What other coaching of young children have you done?
KC: The club is moving in the right direction at the minute and adding more youth teams will aid in the long-term development of the club. The reason Heywood has been such a successful club in the past ten years or so is because of the young players who have moved through the club from the youngest age groups, and so fingers crossed, I’ll be able to help with the process. I have been coaching a Kid’s Club in Headingley for the last three months which has been aged from 3-7, and trust me, patience is one of the key skills I have developed through working with them! I have also been helping out with some Elite Academies aged between 9 and 16.
HCC: What are your coaching ambitions? And your cricketing ones? And your current coaching qualifications?
KC: Eventually, I would like to be able to complete my level 3 coaching qualifications but at the minute, it just isn’t feasible with University and the amount of cricket I am playing myself. I am currently a level 2 qualification but will be completing my 2.5 in later February. My cricket is moving in the right directions at the minute and I am looking to get a place in the England side in the near future.
HCC: How excited are you about the year ahead?
KCC: The next year is so important to me. I had some time off at the beginning of last season to get my head around things and my time off has done wonders for me. I am fitter than I have ever been, more focused and probably bowling the best I have bowled too. This year could be a really big year for me if I do the right things.
HCC: How easy is it to combine your uni studies with your cricket? And what do you hope to use your qualifications for?
KC: Time management is never an easy skill to acquire and I’m still learning how to balance everything. Obviously with such a big commitment to sport, I will always have to make some sacrifices. But ever since I did my GCSE and A-levels and now being halfway through a Psychology degree I have always had the conflict of study and training. I’m not entirely sure what I want to do when I finish Uni but I know having a good degree will help me so much.
HCC: Who do you play cricket for now?
KC: I am currently playing for Lancashire Ladies CC and have recently decided to play women’s cricket for a team over in Leeds called New Farnley CC. I’m in the England Women’s Academy and obviously, if Roger is ever short of a bowler then I will be more than happy to help out when I am not playing women’s cricket.
HCC: Why do you want to coach at Heywood CC? Tell us a bit about your background at the club – how long you have played at Crimble?
KC: I have been a member of the club for as long as I can remember and I started training in the under-11s side when I was just 8. I moved through the ages and have played for every team there is, except for the first team (when your brother is first team captain this is the way it will probably stay too!). Heywood has literally been my second home in the summertime for the last 12 years and I have met some of my best friends there. Coaching the under-9s is the least I can do for the club. I want to be able to do my bit to help the club in the long term and be able to give young kids an opportunity to learn to play cricket.
HCC: How excited are you about the challenge ahead?
KC: I am so excited! Nervous too but I am genuinely looking forward to the responsibility of such an important part of the clubs development. I’ll be sniffing for some silver too!
For more details on the under-9s, contact Kate by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, the club is holding its Junior Registration night at Crimble on Thursday 29 March from 7.30pm.
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