Tuesday 16th September 2008 by C. Freeman
Year 11 student James Coles received an impressive glass trophy after being voted Young Leader of the Year in Kettering's Sports Awards 2008. James coaches teams at Loddington Cricket Club, two of which have had really successful seasons. The Under-11s have won the local Kettering and Corby league while the girls' team is through to the national finals at Birmingham.
James has played cricket since he was eight. He got his best score ever of 69-not-out for Brooke Weston and captained the Year 10 team during their successful season last year. He also plays for Loddington Under-15s, Under-17s and men's teams and still manages to act as assistant coach for three evenings a week.
James first started playing when Loddington introduced youth teams in 2000 and three years ago he started coaching. He is now a level one cricket coach after sitting the English Cricket Board exam where he had to go on a four-day course, completing first aid and child protection courses and running a coaching session.
James helps with the training programme at the club under the guidance of coach, Karl Sanders. He said: 'My whole family has links with the club. I have been there ever since I was born, watching my dad. When we started the youth teams in about 2000 I was the first one in my age group playing Under-11s even though I was three years younger. I've just gone into coaching because my dad's always helped out. As a cricket club we all know each other and once you're there for a while you sort of fall into it really.'
Typically around 50 youngsters turn up for training so they are split into two groups and James coaches around 20 in batting, bowling and fielding techniques. A recent recruitment drive led to the formation of the girls' team who have won through the county and regional cups and are due to play in the nationals later this month.
Loddington Cricket Club nominated James for the title and he was presented with his trophy at an awards ceremony at Wicksteed Park. He said: 'It's a bit of a morale booster for the club for me to get this award, especially as it's the first time a young player from our club has been nominated. I was very pleased to win. It's the first major award I've had for coaching.'