ICC Europe Media Release
A selection of top young female cricketers from Europe's Associate and Affiliate member countries are currently involved in the ICC European Women's Academy in La Manga, Spain.
This is the second European Women's Academy to be run as part of the ICC European Development Program following on from the great success of the inaugural event held at Fettes College, Edinburgh in August 2006.
The 2008 event is being held at the La Manga Club, a world-class leisure resort located in Murcia, South-Eastern Spain on the Costa Calida, that has been the home of the ICC European Centre of Excellence for the past three years.
The academy, which will run from the 12th until the 17th April, consists of 18 of Europe's most talented female cricketers between the ages of 15-21 working with an elite ICC Europe coaching team. The main focus for the team will be on preparing the participants for involvement in their country's national and club women's programmes next summer.
Richard Cox, Warwickshire CCC Academy Director, has the role of Academy Director and will lead the coaching team which also includes Philip Hudson, ICC European Development Officer - Performance, Richard Bedbrook, ICC Europe Development Officer, Laura Newton, former England Women's team player and Paul Shaw, ECB Regional Training Manager. Paul attended the ICC European Women's Championship in the summer of 2007 as coach to the England Women's Development XI that successfully won all three matches played against Europe's top three Associate sides.
In addition three of the four countries represented at the Academy - Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, have sent a national coach to accompany their participants on the academy in both a leadership and coaching role. Each of these three High Performance Program countries has 3-6 girls attending the academy who are already representing or hope to represent their country in the near future.
The 4th country in attendance, Guernsey, is represented by 18 year-old Hannah Mechem who, in 2007, competed for Somerset CCC U19s and plays regular men's league cricket in Guernsey.
Commenting on the Academy, ICC European Development Manager Richard Holdsworth said 'It will give the best young players in our region an opportunity to improve their skills to better compete on the world stage in ICC global events.'
'We are delighted at the elite coaches we have been able to source to help deliver this event which will allow the players and country coaches to benefit greatly from their expertise. There will be an excellent opportunity for much one to one coaching, so that players can get expert tuition on the specific areas that they wish to concentrate on.'
He added 'Developing Women's Cricket and extending its reach throughout Europe is one of the five main objectives of the ICC European Development Program. We hope that those players exposed to the Academy experience will take what they learn back to their clubs and countries and make them better equipped to help grow the game.'