Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Trio Of Worcs Youngters Get Support From Brian Johnston Memorial Trust

Trio Of Worcs Youngters Get Support From Brian Johnston Memorial Trust

A trio of promising Worcestershire youngsters are to reap the benefits of support from the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust (BJMT) in their bid to become professional cricketers.

Worcestershire CCC Academy batsman Ollie Westbury, Academy elite player group member Ryan Wheldon and England Women's Development Programme player Emily Arlott are each receiving £500 scholarships from the BJMT.

The financial windfall will help towards funding travelling costs of attending coaching sessions-matches at Malvern College and New Road respectively plus purchasing new cricket equipment.

Brian Johnston's 47 years of broadcasting, his passion for England and its great national sport of cricket, along with his irrepressible sense of fun, brought him into the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide.

As a memorial his family, together with many eminent members of the cricketing and broadcasting world, set up a trust fund to further the causes that were close to Brian's heart.

The BJMT provides scholarships to young male and female cricketers at county academy and university level who are in genuine financial need. Last year, 22 scholarships were awarded to help with coaching, travel and equipment costs.

Worcestershire Academy coach Elliot Wilson has hailed the impact the BJMT will have on Westbury, Wheldon and Arlott during the forthcoming months.

He said: "Ollie, Ryan and Emily have been offered a little bit of support through the Brian Johnson Memorial Trust. It's a £500 gesture to support these players in their endeavours to be professional cricketers.

"With Ollie Westbury, his challenges are that he lives up in Dudley and to get from home to New Road three or four times a week when we are playing is expensive in terms of travelling costs.

"It also gives him a little bit of support to make sure playing cricket in his 'gap' year before he possibly goes to university or whatever steps he take, doesn't cost him any money which will be a lot of help for him.

"Ryan Wheldon has shown some great support to his cricket this winter. He has joined the fringes of the academy over this winter as part of the elite player group.

"He has travelled down from Bridgnorth with his parents or grandparents three or four times a week since November so he has made a hell of an effort.

"This £500 contribution from the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust is going to be massively helpful in just making those journeys a little bit easier, not costing the family as much as it would do. He comes by train sometimes or with the family sometimes.

"Emily Arlott is officially on the England Women's Development programme which is the rung below the Academy. She is a fast bowler. She lives in Hereford and has to go all over the place with different training camps here, there and everywhere.

"Any support like this will make her life a little bit easier, now that she is driving, in being able to get to more opportunities, get to more sessions and more games, and hopefully keep nudging her towards where she wants to be which is to play for England."

Ryan Wheldon, 15, said: "The scholarship will help me because I will be able to buy new kit which will allow me to perform for longer and some of the money can go to my grandad for all the travelling (driving) he does for me."

Emily Arlott said: "This funding will be beneficial to my cricket as it would assure my progress to stay in the England pathway as I will be able to fund equipment which will enable me to perform at my best.

"It will also help with kit costs and replace my clothing and funding for one to ones with my Worcestershire coaches."

Ollie Westbury, 18, said: "The sponsorship money will help me to commute between home and Worcester for training and matches, helping with fuel money.

"I feel very grateful to have been awarded this by the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust."