Jack Shantry ready to give something back

Former Shrewsbury cricket professional Jack Shantry is relishing the opportunity to give back to the community with a feast of cricket and mental wellbeing sessions for youngsters.

Jack Shantry.
Jack Shantry.

Former Worcestershire first class star Shantry, 33, retired from all forms of the game in the summer of 2018 due to an ongoing back injury.

Shantry, who learned his craft growing up in his garden in Gains Park, is a five-day Easter Holiday 'Cricket for Life' camp for children aged eight and above, of all abilities.

The camp will take place at The Grange Primary School on Mount Pleasant Road in Shrewsbury during the Easter holidays, between April 12 and April 16.

Shantry, who lives locally and coaches at Shrewsbury School while training to become a professional umpire, said: "Definitely, giving back is really important to me. I had a brilliantly successful and happy 10 years playing professional cricket.

"It's great to be back in Shropshire now, as well as this Cricket for Life camp I'm also a patron of the new youth ambassador scheme for Shropshire Cricket Board, which is starting later this summer.

"It's great to try to put something back, I'm very passionate about working with young cricketers and hopefully unearthing a couple more who can make it all the way."

The sessions will focus on cricket techniques and on the final day there will be a final held at Sentinel Cricket Club in the town, where medals and a trophy are up for grabs, as well as souvenir t-shirts and a gourmet BBQ.

There will also be mini games and a question and answer session with England Lions batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Shantry was also keen to acknowledge that the five-day camp is run in association with Life Shed, a Shropshire mental wellbeing service.

The former left-armer, who scored his maiden first class century in the same game as taking 10 wickets against Surrey as the Pears secured promotion to Division One, admits he wanted to offer a tailored service that will help youngster re-engage with each other after an extremely difficult 12 months.

"It's the first one. We're doing it in partnership with a company called Life Shed, they offer a mental wellbeing service for young people and people in Shropshire," Shantry said.

"We're doing it together, it's sort of an amalgam, it's mainly a cricket camp, for cricket technical skills and getting people outside.

"But also realising the lockdown has affected kids in a lot of negative ways in terms of mental health, so we're offering these positive mental health activities, getting them doing stuff together.

"Hopefully it'll be a really good week, they enjoy themselves and learn some stuff about cricket."

He added: "Hopefully the kids will have seen Kohler-Cadmore play on TV occasionally, it's nice to get well-known faces to offer them advice and help.

"Perhaps it can be a cricketing role model to look up in the future. If they put the hard work in from a young age they can be that next person on the TV playing for England."

There are limited spaces still available for the camp. To register interest or for booking information, contact admin@lifeshed.co.uk or call 07368883534.

Sessions run from 9am to 3pm, though early drop off and late pick up options are available. They are £35 per day £150 for the five-day camp.

The camp will go ahead in accordance and subject to government guidelines. Full refunds are available for guideline changes.

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