Special treat for Upminster youngsters as Essex stars bring silverware to session
PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 March 2020
Young Upminster cricketers had a special treat at their latest winter indoor coaching session at Coopers on Saturday.
Essex star Simon Harmer turned up with the Vitality Blast T20 and County Championship trophies, having played a leading role in the county's historic 2019 Double success.
And the South African spinner joined teammates Adam Wheater and Aaron Beard to happily deliver the sessions, before the trio posed for photographs and signed autographs for the excited youngsters.
Upminster launched a 20-week winter programme in early October under new head coach Scott Simmons, with Wheater, Beard and 12 of the club's new level two coaches, including the likes of Scott Fisher, Terry Wyatt and Ollie Peck, on hand to help deliver six hours of training each Saturday.
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Around 140 children aged four to 15 signed up, including 40 in the new girls' section, with members and newcomers getting the chance to learn new skills. Around 200 have signed up for the 20-week outdoor programme starting on April 24 and a club spokesman said: 'There has been great interest after England winning the World Cup, Essex doing the Double and our benefit match and it's great to see.
'We have built up a large junior section over the last few years on the back of Chance to Shine and other initiatives we have been part of and getting Scott involved this year along with Adam and Aaron has really moved things forward in terms of the quality of coaching being delivered and the enthusiasm and interest this is creating in the local area.
'Also, with the girls' section we are hoping to build on the existing crossover we already have with Upminster Hockey Club and hope this will all be further boosted by the opening or our new three-lane net facility at the club, which was completed over the winter.'
The club have around 100 junior fixtures arranged for the 2020 season, from the year three school age group and above, as well as a new squad at reception age.
Essex wicketkeeper Wheater added: 'It has been good, it's my first long-term role in coaching and it has been good fun.
'There are some talented youngsters and a few that have some bits to work on but as long as they're having fun, enjoying themselves and learning, that's all we can ask for really.'