A year after graduating from the MCC Young Cricketers (YCs) programme, Jenny Halstead returned to Lord’s in her new guise as a PE teacher.
Halstead coached a London school to the finals of the Lady Taverners (opens in a new window) eight-a-side competition at the MCC Indoor School.
Halstead left the YCs in 2009 with a shining captaincy record and a treasured cap.
This year Halstead accompanied her charges from The Heathland School in Hounslow.
Coaching two sides - at under 13s and under 15s level, none of whom had played cricket before - she saw the under 13s crowned London champions and the under 15s come home in fourth place on Wednesday 10 March.
Cricket & career
Halstead was on the YC staff for three years - she was a professional cricketer during the summer, whilst studying for a degree in Physical Education during the winter and spring.
"The YCs scheme allowed me to live the life of a professional cricketer, which was a great privilege, and also allowed me to obtain a Community Sports Leader qualification which has really helped my career," she explained.
"Female players get used to having to juggle work and cricket, so it was a godsend to be able to have a full time job during the summer which tided me over for the rest of the year so I could concentrate on my degree.
"There’s no doubt the YCs helped both my cricket and my career."
She may have moved from the Nursery (Ground) into the classroom, but Halstead claims she’s fitter than ever.
"Being a teacher is the best fitness you can get, because you never stop running around!" she says.
"And I’m happy to take the kids on at bleep tests during PE - it’s all part of the training."
MCC coaches Alan Duncan and Mark Alleyne should take note - instead of investing in strength and conditioning coaching, maybe what the YCs really need is to take up teaching careers!
During the summer holidays Halstead will assume vice-captaincy duties at Middlesex and play for Gunnersbury CC. She will also be stepping out for MCC Women having become a Member during her time on the staff.