Cricket has always been a passion for Kate. At the age of 10 she went to her local cricket ground to watch her Dad play and quickly began helping out with the scoring. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the game and it was only a matter of time before she was pulling on the Whites herself.
Kate always knew she wanted to give something back to the game that had given her so much and was lucky enough to land a role as an apprentice coach at the Lancashire Cricket Foundation, after her Dad saw the opportunity on their website. Despite never considering coaching, the role allowed Kate to put together two of her passions: cricket and working with children. After a quick turnaround, Kate began working with the Foundation, receiving training and meeting the rest of the team of apprentices.
Kate hit the ground running, initially observing and assisting the coaches, before going on to lead her own sessions. However, as the pandemic hit in March 2020 these sessions transitioned from in-person to online. Kate tells us, ‘During lockdown I was doing online sessions. The sessions were incredibly different – it was more about checking in on the kids and seeing how they were. We would split into groups and get them talking and sharing.’
The training Kate received from the foundation focused on behaviours and knowledge in the morning and then being able to put this into practice in the afternoon. Putting the learning into practice allowed Kate and the other apprentices to evaluate how it went, and learn how to improve and adapt in the future.
Kate received support from her managers and co-workers, allowing her to ask questions and learn more, which boosted her confidence in her role. Further support came from Graham Helm, National Doorstep Sport Advisor at StreetGames, who would regularly check in with Kate when lockdown hit. Kate tells us, ‘Graham was really supportive and was always there – during face-to-face sessions and also when we were in lockdown on the phone and email. Graham helped me with my University application and also after the learning had finished, made sure I was ready for the assessment.’
After finishing her apprenticeship with Lancashire Cricket Foundation, Kate went on to Cardiff University, where she is studying to become a primary school teacher. Alongside this, the Foundation have also recommended her for roles with local cricket clubs, allowing her to carry on doing something she loves while earning some extra money.
As part of her degree, she is also interested in working with young people with special educational needs, something she was first exposed to through the apprenticeship which opened up a new path for her.
Kate gained genuine confidence from the coaching apprenticeship and through the support she received from StreetGames. Kate tells us, ‘The whole thing just increased my confidence. I previously ‘faked’ my confidence but I felt it grow and it was recognised by others too. I now know that I am good at what I do and I know what I am doing.’