Leading Essex women’s cricketer Kelly Castle is on course for a successful sports industry career after boosting her skills and confidence during an apprenticeship at Essex Cricket.

Working at the County Ground, 20-year-old Kelly had the exciting opportunity to promote women’s and girls’ cricket.

By helping to organise six-a-side softball Prosecco cricket competitions at clubs around the county, her role encouraged women to become more active and helped to develop her chosen sport.

Kelly, from Rochford, said: “I have always wanted a career working in sport. My apprenticeship through Seetec has given me a stepping stone. I learned a lot, especially about organisation, including fully organising the women’s softball cricket at my club in Rayleigh.

“Working at Essex Cricket has also really broadened my knowledge about sports development.”

Kelly left the County Ground last month to start studying for a full-time BSc Sports Science degree at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, although she will continue to work for Essex Cricket during her holidays.

Her apprenticeship was organised through employment and skills specialist Seetec.

Regional Skills Co-ordinator for Seetec Emma Krijgsman said: “Kelly’s success demonstrates how Seetec can help young people to make a positive start on their career path, with apprenticeships offering an alternative route to skills development, qualifications and workplace progress.”

With England winning the Women’s Cricket World Cup this summer, and the national team rising to top the world rankings, it is an exciting time to be involved with the sport.

Kelly played a vital role batting for Essex Women this season, helping the team to win promotion back to Division 2 in the Women’s County Championship. She became the first Essex woman to score 2,000 runs and take 100 wickets for the county, and is expected to captain the side next season.

Kelly, who has been playing cricket since she was 13, added: "My apprenticeship helped prepare me for my degree, rather than going straight from school to university. I’m interested in sports psychology but I’ve also gained experience which will help me to work in the sporting industry after university.”

Essex Cricket Head of Operations Dan Feist said: “Kelly really developed her skills of communication, planning and organisation and gained confidence from engaging with a wide range of people. She will continue to work for us during her university holidays to further develop women’s and girls’ cricket.

“Our apprentices bring fresh energy and new ideas for our target age group.”