Northern Ireland-based international nutrition company Devenish Nutrition has committed to fund a major scholarship programme for Women’s cricket following a succesful initial trial.
The Devenish Nutrition Women’s Overseas Player Development Scholarship Programme will provide funding for up to four players to spend 3 to 6 months overseas, during the winter months of 2018-2019, further developing their skills and knowledge of the game in a different culture and climate, through world class coaching, practice and competitive matches.
“This programme provides funding for players to spend time playing and training in overseas conditions, and experiencing new coaching and playing conditions,” said Alice Stanton, a former international cricketer for Ireland and current Director of Human Health with Devenish Nutrition.
“Both Devenish and Cricket Ireland anticipate that this will be a very positive experience for the players, help create more rounded individuals, and benefit future individual player and Irish team performances.”
“It’s essential for a modern-day cricketer to gain exposure to a range of playing, training and coaching experiences,” added Gaby Lewis who benefited from the programme this year.
“Throughout the year we play in varying climates and conditions – take the second half of 2018 alone, we will have played in Ireland, Holland and the Caribbean. It is the ability for players to adapt their game and approach for these varying conditions that makes you and the team successful.”
“This year I had the opportunity to travel to Australia and spend some time within the Women’s Big Bash League structure. While I didn’t play in the WBBL, training alongside some of the best players and listening to their insights was incredibly valuable.”
“For an up-and-coming player these are the sorts of formative experiences that can drive your career forward and I believe I’m a better player for having the opportunity.”
Nurturing young talent is a critical role for any performance system and being able to bring on board a specific sponsor enables the kind of programme that is critical to doing it in the best way possible.
Cricket Ireland has proven itself in this area with the ten year sponsorship provided by Indian conglomerate Shapoorji Pillonji on the men’s nsid eof the game.
“The women’s game in Ireland is at an important juncture, and thanks to Devenish Nutrition’s partnership we can extend Cricket Ireland’s ability to develop and nurture upcoming talent,” added Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland.
“Recent initiatives in the women’s side of the game, such as the creation of the Toyota Super 3’s competition, more focus on the Academy, and a more coordinated and extensive cricket programme from under-age to senior levels are beginning to bear fruit.”
“You just have to look at the season we’ve had – the team has bounced back from a challenging series against the New Zealand White Ferns to beat Asian Cup champions Bangladesh on home soil, then went to the Netherlands and successfully qualified for the Women’s World T20 tournament in the Caribbean.”
“We already know that a number of our senior players will be retiring after the Women’s World T20, so it is crucial to the future of women’s cricket in Ireland that we utilise programmes like this one to continue the development of young players, provide a pathway to international cricket and implement a gradual succession plan over coming years.”
“Women’s sport in Ireland is on the rise, and cricket has a role to play in encouraging and developing high-performance sportswomen. As such, this scholarship programme is fundamental in that process.”
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