A cricket lecturer at Myerscough College’s Emirates Old Trafford campus has been reflecting on the first term of the academic year.
Dan Atkinson looks back at the highlights and the challenges of the last few months:
Looking back, this year so far, we have had an incredibly busy term and the students have done outstandingly well to adjust to a timetable which has seen a mix of face-to-face contact, fixtures, training, strength and conditioning sessions as well as online lessons.
The start to this academic year has been like no other we have seen before. As with everywhere else in the country, we have faced lockdowns, restrictions and new ways of working but has also seen us deliver a term of learning to students, something which they have really embraced, which is a credit to them.
Planning for this term started back in August, with an unusual online enrolment and a large cohort of students ready to start their first year.
We also welcomed back our returning second year students to start their last year of study with us.
We were able to start the year in relatively ‘normal’ fashion with our now traditional September block of fixtures. Our First Years were able to play a mini series against each other, the Reds were able to take on the Greens in a format which was not dissimilar to the Women’s Ashes, with a two-day game, a one-day game and some T20 cricket. A really good opportunity for them to get to know each other and staff as well. A great standard of cricket played across the ‘series’ which shows promising signs for when our competitive programme can start back up again at Easter, fingers crossed.
Our second years were also able to play opposition in the form of the MCC, who kindly agreed to rearrange the fixture from the Summer, which was unable to be played for obvious reasons. A good game to get our returning students back out with all capped for making their competitive college debut. Ben Walkden top scoring with the bat finishing on 49 and Luke Young taking 4 wickets in the reply.
They were also able to get out and play against a Former Students XI, brilliant to welcome back former students and catch up after they have spent a few years away from the college programme.
Back into College, we were able to deliver a full term of work through a blend of online and face to face learning as well as some practical, cricket and strength and conditioning sessions.
There have been plenty of highlights during this term, we have delivered a virtual Careers programme, including talks and lectures as well as an ‘Online Careers and UCAS Planning Day’, our second-year students have successfully applied to University and are waiting to hear back with offers.
We worked again with our friends at 'Opening Up' encouraging conversation around mental health in sport, we are always thankful to Mark Boyns for giving up his time to come and speak to our students again. We proudly wear Opening Up's logo on the sleeves of both our white playing shirts and One Day shirts.
On the cricket side, we were named for the third consecutive year in The Cricketer Magazine’s 100 Top cricket Schools and it is nice to see the hard work that has gone into the programme continue to be recognised at a national level, rubbing shoulders with some of the very best cricket schools in the country.
We have planned out an exciting fixture programme for next Summer, which we will post in the new year, this promises to be an exciting ‘Summer of Cricket’ This now includes some new school fixtures, cup and trophy competitions and the introduction and trial of Two Day Cricket.
In terms of Alumni, it was great to see Hannah Jones (2015 – 2017) become one of forty-one women to sign a full-time domestic women’s contract, one of only five for North west Thunder after an impressive Summer with the ball in the inaugural Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy.
Jack Morley (2018-2020) also impressed for Lancashire last Summer in red ball cricket, making his first-class debut against Derbyshire at Liverpool, helping the red rose to victory with five wickets in the game.
Winter wise, we will have three of our students involved with Lancashire’s academy and various others involved in County Age group and Emerging Player programmes.
Although next term is still uncertain in many ways, we are looking forward to continuing our strong academic programme and building up to the Easter and Summer term, it does look as though a pre-season tour will be in doubt, which is a shame as we have travelled to Potchefstroom in South Africa in recent years, which has been an amazing experience for students both on and off the pitch.
We are hoping to provide a strong competitive test for our students through the cricket programme we offer them, and, I’m sure, the students will be counting down the days once we return after Christmas.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank those that support our programme and for their renewal of support this year, IGE Consulting have agreed to continue their shirt sponsorship, Steroplast and Sterosport with their continued support of our medical provision and Icon Sports UK for their partnership in our on and off the pitch clothing, training and playing range.Back to news