Norwich School is delighted to announce its appearance in The Cricketer's inaugural 'best of' list for secondary education, entitled The Playing Fields of England: An A-Z Guide To The Summer Game's Top 100 Schools 2018. We caught up with Mr Cawkwell to find out what this means for the school:
What does it mean to the school to be included in the Top 100?
It really is a fantastic achievement for the school. We have been competitive for a good number of years now, but to be put in this list cements our status as one of the leading cricket schools in the area. It's a level of recognition that all the staff and pupils who have contributed to Norwich School cricket over the years should be very proud of.
What do you think makes Norwich School one of the Top 100?
For me, this is a very simple answer. The pupils, the staff, and the facilities. If we were not successful on our circuit we would not be considered for this list. The fact that we are is a credit to the pupils at our school as it is down to their commitment, desire and hard work each year. Our staff put in an enormous amount of effort and many hours for the cricket club. The passion they show is second to none, and we are very grateful for their devotion all year round. We are one of only three schools in East Anglia that has a cricket specific indoor facility that can be used throughout the year. This, on top of five very good grass cricket squares and other top training facilities, means that we have resources to help our pupils be the best cricketers they can be.
What developments has the school made that has helped us break into this prestigious group for the first time?
We have made a very successful transition to girls cricket in the last couple of years. The girls have wholeheartedly embraced this change and this year we are looking to have fixtures for eight teams in the Senior School and seven teams in the Lower School. This would have been unimaginable three years ago, so huge credit has to go to the girls for the way they have approached this challenge. We have also made good progress in the boys' National competitions in the last few years, getting to the latter stages on numerous occasions.
How do you think the Norwich School Cricket Academy (in association with Sussex CCC), can help the school to be included in the list in future years?
I think it is a fantastic partnership and we are hugely excited about its potential. The link has been set up to provide young people in this area with a clear route to an opportunity to become a first class cricketer. It has been notoriously difficult for talented cricketers from this part of the country to be given these opportunities, so it is a very exciting prospect. If the link can help one young person from this area reach the professional game then it has been a very successful venture, and one we should be incredibly proud of.
We're now out of season for cricket, what is the cricket club doing to prepare for next season?
Our extensive winter cricket programme has just got under way. There will be approximately 120 hours of expert 1:1 and small group coaching sessions, and also around 80 hours of team sessions between now and the Easter break. We will also be running some team pre-season sessions during the Easter holidays and hopefully a few fixtures too. This will ensure that our pupils are fully prepared to have a fantastic start to the season when we have our first fixtures of the season on the 21st April.