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Island's first youth cricket festival begins on Monday 26 July 2005

    Over 150 players, coaches and supporters from England, Northern Ireland and India are arriving in the Island for the first Youth Cricket Festival which gets underway on Monday.

    As final plans were being made there was a major boost for the Festival with news that the Castletown Golf Links Hotel had agreed to be the main sponsor, offering support to the tune of £1,000. This is in addition to financial backing from the Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure.

    Said Festival co-ordinator Trevor Baker: 'The involvement of Castletown Golf Links Hotel is the icing on the cake as far we are concerned and we are all looking forward to what promises to be the largest cricket event of its kind ever staged in the Island.

    'We have put together a great schedule, taking in some well looked after pitches across the Island. We intend to give our guests a real flavour of Manx life and encourage them to return - not just as players but perhaps for a holiday as well.

    'The sponsorship from Castletown Golf Links is a real bonus as an event of this size takes considerable time, effort and resources. The Isle of Man Cricket Coaches Association is delighted that it has come forward with such a generous donation.'

    A total of 20 matches will be played between August 1st and 5th at venues including St John's. Cronkbourne, Crosby and King William's College. The cream of the Isle of Man's junior players will be up against teams from New Delhi, Rawtenstall, Bradford, Bedford, Wokingham and Killyclooney. A presentation ceremony takes place on Friday after the final round of games.

    The Isle of Man Youth Cricket Festival, involving separate competitions at under-13 and under-15 level, followed an initiative from the Isle of Man Cricket Coaches Association which is acting as the organisers with support from the Isle of Man Cricket Association.

    Said Tourism Minister David Cretney: "This has all the hallmarks of a great new competition for the Isle of Man and I hope it can become an annual event as the organisers envisage. It is pleasing to see a local company, the Castletown Golf Links, rallying round to support such an imaginative venture."

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