Gallery: Ex-Essex star Ilott pleased with summer camp turnout

PUBLISHED: 13:25 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 26 October 2009

Children with Mark Ilott and Essex star Graham Napier

Children with Mark Ilott and Essex star Graham Napier

FORMER Essex and England Test star Mark Ilott is delighted with how successful his summer cricket camps continue to be. This year s festival has included an appearance by Twenty20 hitter Graham Napier, who himself was astounded by the enthusiasm and willi

Graham Napier and Mark Ilott with some of the children at Old Owens

FORMER Essex and England Test star Mark Ilott is delighted with how successful his summer cricket camps continue to be.

This year's festival has included an appearance by Twenty20 hitter Graham Napier, who himself was astounded by the enthusiasm and willingness of the children to learn and get involved.

"This week has being phenomenal with the number of kids who have shown up," said Potters Bar player Ilott.

"We cater for kids of all abilities and have some really fantastic coaches who work with them and help them improve.

"I enjoy the coaching side too, but even when I can't attend every day, I know they will be getting the best possible learning from the best possible coaches.

"It's fantastic to have my name associated with such an event, and I thoroughly enjoy taking the sessions and seeing how much the kids enjoy themselves."

Over 40 children displayed their talents and enthusiasm in front of Essex cricketer Graham Napier last Friday, and he agreed with Mark.

He said: "To see the kids enjoying themselves was fantastic and I am really pleased that I could come along and help out.

"We could have the next Michael Vaughan or Kevin Pietersen here, so it's important that we run these sorts of coaching events.

"And importantly we can help develop the spirit of cricket, by promoting sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, as well as helping improve the game skills."

In a day and age where competition in sport is becoming more and more intense, it is a breath of fresh air to attend a sporting event where the main emphasis takes on skills improvement, along with teamwork, character-building and behaviour.

At the end of the week, Mark awards three of the kids with a "cricketer of the week" title, taking into account how the individual has progressed in their time throughout the coaching in terms of behaviour, attitude and skill development.

"It's always a challenge when there are kids with different skill levels, but it's a challenge we all enjoy," added Ilott.

"I'd like to thank Graham (Napier) for coming down. He has been fantastic with the kids, and I think everyone is delighted that they have been able to meet and chat with him.

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