Herefordshire Cricket Ltd. appoint new Operations Director
6 years ago | By Edd Oliver
Herefordshire Cricket Limited (the Herefordshire Cricket Board) is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Watkins as its new Operations Director.
Steve, who has been a Director on the Board for the past two years, joins as an employee from Cricket Wales, where he has been the Cricket Development Officer for Gwent and Mid Wales.
He will oversee and manage the day-to-day operation at the Herefordshire Cricket Centre at Pentland Gardens in Hereford, and brings a wealth of experience in cricket to his new role - including playing for both Wales and Herefordshire in the Minor Counties Championship.
Steve has a degree in sports coaching and development, and 16 years experience managing a cricket operation, working with local stakeholders, coaches, schools and clubs. He is a Level 3 Coach and a tutor and assessor for ECB education courses.
Speaking about this appointment, Derek Ling, Chairman of Herefordshire Cricket Limited, said:
‘We are very pleased Steve - a very experienced professional cricket coach and manager - has agreed to join our team. Having played cricket for the county he is well known in the local cricket community, and is currently working with Wormelow Cricket Club.
‘Cricket in Herefordshire continues to grow and HCL are investing further in the future. A grant has been secured from the ECB to install a two-lane cricket net at our Cricket Centre and we will continue with our efforts to train more local coaches by subsidising the Coach Education programme for 2017.
‘We also hope to jointly sponsor a new initiative with the Marches League to subsidise the Match Officials’ training programme.
‘In addition, we have secured more money from The Cricket Foundation in order to run Chance To Shine cricket coaching in our local primary schools, and will concentrate our efforts on supporting our clubs and their local schools in order to support a clear pathway in cricket.’
Commenting on his new role, Steve Watkins said:
‘I am hugely excited by my new role and, after a short settling in period, I now can’t wait to really get started.
‘I am passionate about cricket in Herefordshire and am really looking forward to helping the sport grow even more. We have a lot of talented players in the county – including many youngsters – and I want to help ensure that an infrastructure is in place that allows everyone to access the game.
‘The ECB have recently reorganised their operation and we will be getting more support and finances to help develop cricket in the county. The emphasis will be on children and clubs, and we expect to see new programmes and initiatives in order to get more young people involved in cricket.
‘The ECB is also promising a significant increase in the new Participation and Growth structure, doubling its investment in Chance to Shine, launching Cricket Unleashed with a £1.5m Strategic Fund, ring fencing £2m of NatWest funding, and putting an additional £1m into its Kids Strategy.
‘The aim of the ECB and Herefordshire Cricket Limited will be to support everyone to play the game, to offer the right opportunities for individuals to take part and also give people memorable experiences to help them enjoy the sport and stay involved with cricket.
‘I am determined to make cricket accessible to anyone who wants to play it in Herefordshire – it is a great game and one that I am very passionate about growing in my new role.’
Closing date Friday 5th November 2021.