Published: 22 April 2006 at 16:26
Ex-Kent wicketkeeper and now their Coaching Co-ordinator, Simon Willis, met the sporting stars of the future when he handed out Anglia Ruskin University's Sports Scholarship awards at a presentation at Fenner's Cricket Ground in Cambridge on Thursday (18 May).
On the day when Kent County Cricket Club's first team faced their second day of play against a Cambridge Universities Centre of Cricketing Excellence (UCCE) student side at Fenner's Cricket Ground, Simon helped to encourage the young award recipients to push hard to reach their own goals through combining a first class education with the pursuit of sporting excellence.
The Anglia Ruskin scheme, offering financial aid to promising young sports men and women, is providing ten cricketing students and an international netball player with the special awards. The scholarships, worth £1,000, have been presented by the University which is known nationally for its cricketing excellence for the past three consecutive years.
Those stepping up to receive first time scholarship awards, in the presence of the University's Vice-Chancellor Professor David Tidmarsh and Pro-Vice Chancellor Helen Valentine, included cricketers Christopher Huntington, Mark Bott and Bhargav Modha. Fellow students, receiving second or third year awards, were Mohammad Amin, Zoheb Sharif, Craig Buckham, Matthew Friedlander, Alexis Mannion, Brendan Smith, Gareth James; and top class England and Commonwealth Games netball player Louisa Brownfield.
Just one headlining student from the group is Zoheb Sharif who until last week was in line to pick up another £1,000 prize - this time from the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owner of Lord's and the organisation responsible for maintaining the laws of the game, for being the student cricketer who has made the highest number of runs against a county side. Zoheb scored 140 not out against Northants, enabling the UCCE side go into the final day's play with a first-innings lead.
Paul McHugh, Anglia Ruskin's Director of Student Affairs, who chairs the Scholarship Committee, said:
Anglia Ruskin's principal lecturer in Sports Science, Dr Don Keiller said:
Scholarships are awarded to students who have achieved national rankings in a sport. The sports bursary is available for those who have previously been at national level, or have the potential to reach it.
Many students choose to study at Anglia Ruskin University as a result of the University Centre for Cricketing Excellence, (UCCE - run in partnership with Cambridge University) which promotes the progress of some of England's most promising young cricketers. The funding, set up in 2003, is a further step to recognise the importance of sport and it is open to all sporting disciplines that meet the required standards.
The funding allows the stars of the future to get tangible help with the cost of managing their sporting activity. The money covers the associated equipment, training and travel costs. Alongside this Anglia Ruskin offers its UCCE students free physiological testing and advice in the University's Cambridge-based Sports Science laboratory.