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Cricket: Handsworth shining bright.

Byline: By Nick Pullen

HANDSWORTH Cricket club haven't looked back since being given their 'Chance to Shine'.

Since becoming involved in the ECB scheme, Handsworth have prospered to such an extent, they are now regularly running seven sides.

That number is likely to increase still further as more local youngsters become involved with the sport.

Coaches from the club are currently involved with seven local schools and such is the popularity of the sport, Handsworth are working overtime to increase their coaching capacity.

Help is at hand, with a brand new net facility in Handsworth Park, thanks to Lottery funding.

Handsworth's Eaton Gordon revealed: "It was Warwickshire's Cricket Development Officer Ed McCabe that first asked us if we'd become involved with 'Chance to Shine'.

"Since then we've been going into four local primary schools and three secondary, two of which are girls schools.

"The whole objective is to get them involved in cricket and enjoy the sport."

Apart from three senior sides in the Warwickshire League, Handsworth also have three youth teams and a ladies side as well. Gordon added: "On youth nights, we have more than 70 youngsters being coached and the number is increasing all the time.

"We used to have a great deal of problems with vandalism. But since we started the youth sides, we've had absolutely no trouble whatsoever."

Handsworth compete in Warwickshire Division Two having won Division Three last term under Gordon's captaincy. And although Gordon is taking a backseat this season by playing Second XI cricket, the passion burns as brightly as ever.

"Everyone involved with the club is local and we want to take Handsworth as far as we can," he said.

CAPTION(S):

EATON GORDON.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 23, 2006
Words:283
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