Thornton Heath coach goes national

Published: 11th December, 2019

Harshil Trivedi of Thornton Heath Cricket Club – who won the award for Outstanding Contribution at Surrey’s OSCA’s back in August at the Kia Oval – has continued to be recognised for his efforts for coaching at his club by being shortlisted for the same award nationally at the ECB Coaching Awards at Edgbaston.

Harshil has contributed over 10 years of experience in coaching at his club, bringing coaches together in the area to make cricket accessible for anyone who wants to take part.

Coaching has not been the only success in recent years, he petitioned the ICC for a chance to take Afghan Refugees to the Cricket World Cup here in England and secured the tickets for free.

We spoke to Harshil about his journey and what the accolade meant to him.

What has been your ‘cricketing journey’ in terms of your introduction to cricket?

I first got into cricket at the age of 8 as my uncles were very avid cricket fans and with the advent of the home world cup, cricket fever was rife in the family. I haven’t looked back in the 20 years since. I started playing in school and started coaching during college as I realised that county cricket may not be in my grasp.

What was your pathway into coaching and how did you get started?

As I was growing up, I quickly realised there was no cricketing support structure in my local area and I personally went to the Oval over winter for coaching sessions. Soon after then, I was asked to help out a holiday club with organising cricket matches at a local park (as I had knowledge and equipment) where I discovered that there was a vested interest among youth in cricket. A year later re-started what is now known as Thornton Heath Cricket Club with a handful of equipment and a bucket load of ambition. It was mentoring and slowly, through networking, I was put onto a level 1 courses and it all went upwards from then on.

Who are you currently coaching?

I am currently coaching boys and girls aged between 6 and 18 for a Chance to Shine project in collaboration with the Surrey Cricket Foundation in Thornton Heath. We regularly get over 50 students coming in on a weekly basis which is testament to the hard work of a great team led by Asad who has ample experience coaching at various levels which puts even the youngest kids at ease. The ability level varies between absolute beginner and borderline county player which allows any player to fit right in from day one.

How did you feel when you found out you had been recognised with a nomination for outstanding contribution in Surrey and to then win the award?

I was very excited to find out that I had been nominated. There are hundreds of clubs in Surrey so it is always an honour to make the shortlist. This is the second year that I had been nominated but the amount of effort that had been placed on developing cricket over the last 12 months in the area has been unparalleled and I felt that I had a fighting chance to win.

What is your ‘coaching philosophy’?

I believe that everyone should have the access to play and learn any skill and for a coach, the facilitation of this is key, be it pro-active or re-active. Adapting to the demands of the ever-changing environment allows coaches to develop dynamically and learn from each other.

Do you have a plan of what you intend to develop in coaching in the future?

I would like to work on biomechanics and how that impacts on long-term bowlers careers. I have started doing that with my current group and can see benefits with minute changes to run-ups, head positioning and follow through which is very promising.

Congratulations to Harshil, and we look forward to seeing where coaching goes in the Thornton Heath area in years to come!

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