SPORTS LETTERS : Striking back

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From Mr M Thunder Sir: Mr Smith (5 January) paints a depressing and inaccurate picture of participation of primary school pupils in cricket. Large numbers of pupils are being introduced to the sport by means of Kwik-Cricket; in Kent, around 30 per cent of primary schools entered our Kwik-Cricket competition last summer, 20 qualifying for the finals at the County Ground, Canterbury in July.

Throughout the year, courses are organised in schools and in-service training is provided for teachers. During the winter, pupils are receiving coaching at district centres around the county. Much of this activity is initiated by our Cricket Development Officer, funded jointly by the County Council and Kent County Cricket Club; it is anticipated that a second development officer will be appointed from October next.

Boys and girls showing promise at this introductory level move on to 11-a-side cricket in schools and clubs. I know from contacts with other counties that similar levels of activity are taking place in many parts of the country. Despite the financial climate, local authorities, county cricket clubs and sponsors are giving generous support to the sport.

Yours sincerely, MAURICE THUNDER Chairman, Kent Schools Cricket Association