Top club proves it’s got the edge

Borders Cricket Development Officer Neil Cameron presents St Boswells TOPClub Champion Rich Young with TOPClub Approved Award. Also pictured Thomas Goodman (left) and Alan Church.

Borders Cricket Development Officer Neil Cameron presents St Boswells TOPClub Champion Rich Young with TOPClub Approved Award. Also pictured Thomas Goodman (left) and Alan Church.

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ST BOSWELLS Cricket Club confirmed its ambitions to return to Scotland’s top flight by achieving further recognition from Cricket Scotland, gaining the TOPClub Approved Award.

The club’s TOPClub champion Richard Young couldn’t restrain his enthusiasm or ambitions. He told TheSouthern: “It’s onwards and upwards now for the bronze award and ticking off the qualifying criteria we need to regain our Scottish National Cricket League spot.”

TOPClub is Cricket Scotland’s club development programme. Not to be confused with the accreditation programmes that exist in many sports and local authorities, the scheme seeks to establish a club, first and foremost, as a safe and secure place for junior to experience the sport, but also to develop a network of strong and healthy clubs, without many of the onerous restrictions and regulations that other accreditation schemes bring.

Neil Cameron, Borders cricket development officer, explained: “The first step on the journey to establishing strong and healthy clubs in the Borders and seeing cricket flourish and grow is the creation of a vibrant junior game which will ultimately support and sustain senior club cricket.

“I am delighted that one of the Borders ‘big guns’ is so supportive of the scheme and achieving approved award is strong evidence of progress being made and fulfilling National League ambitions.”

Among the boxes ticked, the Villagers have established links with their local schools and the active schools network, developed their volunteers and coaching team so that these are suitably qualified to run junior training and teams, provide opportunities for girls and boys to play cricket at different age groups, and adopt minimum standards in risk assessment, child welfare, first aid and equity.

2011 is likely to be a big year for the Villagers and not just in the Border League competitions.

The newly-established girls and women’s section shows the extent of the club’s intent and ambitions, and, as top Borders cricketer Kathryn White notes: “The club’s progress in TOPClub is one of the many reasons I decided to play my cricket at St Boswells and move the Borders Girls squad to train here last year.

“Establishing a St Boswells women’s team was a natural progression after that and I have been overwhelmed by the support the club has given me.”

All of the Borders clubs are in the TOPClub programme and all run junior teams in at least two age groups – a clear indication, according to Cameron, of the health of the game in the region.