New role gives vital insights to help improve Welsh cricket

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Cricket Wales has appointed a specialist researcher in a unique new role to provide vital insights which could help shape the future of the sport.

 Estyn Jones has joined Cricket Wales as insight and innovation officer, and is working to discover why some players quit the sport and what can be done to address the issue.

“Almost all sports suffer a drop-off in participation at a certain age,” said Estyn,. “In cricket, we see people tending to leave from around 14-25, and I’m looking at why that happens, and what we might do to keep those people playing.

“We have found that for some young players, it can be intimidating moving into senior cricket; and, unless, they are among the most talented, who feel they have a potential career in the sport, they may find they no longer enjoy playing.”

His role is believed to be unique in Welsh sport and is unusual in the wider UK context.

One of Estyn’s priorities is to identify the reasons for the drop-off and potential ways to keep people in the sport. This may include new formats of the game, or playing at certain times.

 A graduate of product design at the University of the West of England, Estyn – originally from Bala in Gwynedd -  is working on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project through Cardiff Metropolitan University, funded by Sport Wales and the Welsh Government. As well as analysing thousands of survey responses and conducting individual interviews with players and others in the sport, Estyn will be interviewing lapsed players to identify exactly what turns people away from the sport at certain ages.

Another aspect of his work is to help rejuvenate the Cricket Wales club affiliation programme. “There are around 230 affiliated clubs in Wales, but many aren’t even aware of the benefits they are getting from Cricket Wales,” Estyn explained.

 Cricket Wales chief executive Peter Hybart commented: “Cricket remains a hugely popular sport throughout Wales for boys and girls, men and women, and in a wide range of formats, but in common with all sports, we face challenges. “Since appointing Estyn, we are now gaining vital insights which will leave us well-placed to get more people involved and retained within cricket, and having a fun, enjoyable experience in the sport.”

Rôl newydd yn rhoi dirnadaeth hanfodol i geisio gwella criced yng Nghymru

Mae Criced Cymru wedi penodi ymchwilydd arbenigol i rôl newydd unigryw er mwyn rhoi dirnadaeth hanfodol all helpu i siapio dyfodol y gêm.

Mae Estyn Jones wedi ymuno â Criced Cymru fel swyddog dirnadaeth ac arloesedd, ac mae’n  gweithio i geisio canfod pam fod rhai chwaraewyr yn rhoi’r gorau i’r gêm, a sut i fynd i’r afael â’r broblem honno. 

 “Mae bron pob camp yn gweld cwymp yn y nifer sy’n cymryd rhan ar ryw oedran arbennig,” meddai Estyn.  “Ym myd criced, gwelwn fod pobl yn tueddu i adael y gêm rhwng tua 14 a 25 oed, a dwi’n edrych ar pam fod hyn yn digwydd, a beth allai gadw’r bobl hynny yn y gêm.

“Rydym wedi canfod y gall symud ymlaen i griced hyn godi braw ar rai chwaraewyr ifanc, ac oni bai eu bod ymhlith y mwyaf talentog sy’n teimlo bod ganddynt yrfa bosib yn y gamp, gallant ganfod nad ydyn nhw’n mwynhau chwarae bellach.”

Credir bod rôl Estyn yn un unigryw ym myd y chwaraeon yng Nghymru ac mae’n anarferol yng nghyd-destun ehangach y Deyrnas Unedig.

Un o’i flaenoriaethau yw canfod y rhesymau am y cwymp mewn niferoedd, a ffyrdd posib o gadw pobl yn y gêm.  Gall hyn gynnwys fformatau newydd, neu chwarae ar adegau arbennig.

Mae Estyn, sydd â gradd mewn dylunio cynnyrch o Brifysgol Gorllewin Lloegr ac sy’n enedigol o’r Bala yng Ngwynedd, yn gweithio ar brosiect Partneriaeth Trosglwyddo Gwybodaeth  trwy Brifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd, sy’n cael ei ariannu gan Chwaraeon Cymru a Llywodraeth Cymru.

Yn ogystal â dadansoddi miloedd o ymatebion i arolwg a chynnal cyfweliadau unigol â chwaraewyr ac eraill sy’n ymwneud â’r gamp, bydd Estyn yn cyfweld â chwaraewyr sydd wedi cefnu ar y gêm i ganfod beth yn union sy’n gwneud i chwaraewyr o oedran arbennig roi’r gorau iddi.

Agwedd arall ar ei waith yw helpu i adfywio rhaglen gyswllt clybiau Criced Cymru.  “Mae ‘na oddeutu 230 o glybiau cyswllt yng Nghymru, ond mae ‘na nifer o’r rheiny sydd ddim hyd yn oed yn ymwybodol o’r budd a gânt o Criced Cymru,” esbonia Estyn.

Meddai prif weithredwr Criced Cymru, Peter Hybart:  “Mae criced yn parhau i fod yn gamp hynod o boblogaidd ledled Cymru ymhlith bechgyn a merched, dynion a menywod, ac ar amryw o fformatau gwahanol, ond fel pob camp arall, rydym yn wynebu sialensiau.

“Ers penodi Estyn, rydym yn cael dealltwriaeth  hanfodol o’r sefyllfa, fydd yn caniatáu inni gael mwy o bobl i gymryd rhan a dal ati i chwarae criced, a chael profiad difyr, pleserus o fewn y gamp.”
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