We caught up with Shine's cricket coach Harry to find out more about his love for the game and what it means to be a Shine Coach:
"I’m Harry, I’ve been working for shine for two years now. I captain Golden Hill first team, and that all happened because I started working for Shine. I’ve had the chance to play alongside some of the Shine staff as well, and just really enjoying the community vibe that Shine brings."
When did you first get into cricket?
"I started playing cricket when I was about 10 years old, my Dad has always been in love with the sport. I’ve got three little brothers who play as well so, we’ve all been playing in the back garden since we were really young, and now I love it just as much."
How would you describe your cricketing style?
"I’m a batter, I basically just try and hit the ball as hard as I can! But I do bowl a little bit as well – I like to think of myself as a bit of a bowler, but I might be a little biased, but as Captain I get to give myself a bit of a bowl as well.
I like to bat at number four – so I don’t have to worry about facing the new ball, I just come in when the slower bowlers are on!"
What’s the best thing about cricket?
"I say this all the time, unlike any other sport, you get to hang out with your mates for a whole day, and if you’re playing for a team that has a nice social group, you all get on really well. So when the sun is shining and you’re outside, there’s not much better than spending the whole day with your mates."
What would be your three top tips for beginners starting their cricketing career?
"Cricket is a very technical game, so I think if you’re going to start playing, don’t think about it too much, just really stick to the basics. And obviously, start with a soft ball and work your way up! Just hit the ball hard and don’t take it too seriously!"
What is your most fond memory in cricket?
"So after I left school, I moved to Sydney for four years to play cricket, it was a massive opportunity, so I took it. I was originally only going to go for the year, then come back and study physiotherapy in Cardiff, but I ended up signing on with a cricket club out there, and stayed out there for three more years. I missed home a lot, but that whole four years is full of fond memories."
Is there any difference in Australian cricket culture?
"There’s a lot of differences, I think Australians can be a lot more brutal! I remember my first game out there, I snicked my first ball, it didn’t hit my bat but just flicked off my pad and into the wicketkeepers’ gloves. The Aussies have all gone up massively, thinking I’ve hit it, but I didn’t walk. I remember I’d just turned 18, it was my second day in Australia, and this guy at first slip turned around and hurled some abuse at me! I almost had tears in my eyes, but I think I learned pretty quickly about Australian cricket culture."
How do Shine cricket sessions differ from other sessions in the area?
"I think what sticks out for me at Shine is that we have a great coaching team, we all get along really, really well, which makes it much easier to make the kids feel more comfortable, more welcome. I think there’s a really good balance between the kids having fun and learning some important skills along the way. I think our facilities are great as well, the fact that we have nets and matches in our sports hall. In the summer we have access to Coombe Dingle, and obviously our new site at the Sports Ground, I think that’ll great for both softball and hardball cricket."
Thing you most enjoy about working for Shine
"I think the link between shine and the cricket club is definitely one of the positives, because whenever we do coaching for the cricket club, we get to see the same kids all the time, we get to know them so well, so yeah I think the community side to Shine is definitely the best thing about working here."
The future of Shine cricket
"I’ve been really excited about the way that Shine cricket is moving forward, our growth of hardball and the coaching of local county and zonal players is great for player pathway and our Softball Development Squads are a massive success running at Golden Hill. We recently welcomed Fraser join the coaching team as well, who is another great coach from Golden Hill!"
Join Coach Harry and the rest of Shine's fantastic cricket coaching team on Saturday mornings for softball or hardball cricket development squads at Golden Hill Sports Ground. Head here for more info.