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County rookies to get advice on life skills
First year county cricketers are to receive advice on safe drinking, anti-doping and anti-corruption when they attend the Professional Cricketers' Association's third annual Rookie Camp at Edgbaston on February 28.
The camp, to be attended by 24 young players in their first year as contracted county cricketers, will consist of introductions to the PCA (the players' union) and several workshops including negotiation skills, safe driving, safe drinking, the new world of social media, anti-doping, anti-corruption, health and well-being as well as discipline rules and regulations. It will also contain a 'past player' session, where the youngsters will be given the chance to question former players about the potential dangers of a life in sport.
"The day is designed to introduce the rookies to as much as we can within a short time span," Angus Porter, the PCA chief executive, explained. "It's to equip them to deal with the most important issues of the modern game, both the many positives of being a professional cricketer, the pitfalls that lurk around the corners and the responsibility as role models they have to uphold on behalf of the game, themselves, their counties and the ECB."
This year's Rookie camp is supported by The Tom Maynard Trust (TMT). The trust, set up in memory of the former Glamorgan and Surrey batsman who died in an incident last June aged just 23, aims to help aspiring young sports people achieve their goals and aspirations. It has joined forces with the PCA to help support the overall Personal Development Programme, a joint initiative with ECB, which aims to help equip players for their life in and beyond professional sport. The inquest into Maynard's death is to be held in London on February 26.
The workshop on responsible drinking will be delivered by Diageo as part of their DrinkiQ programme. The players in the rookie camp will be the first to benefit from the interactive presentation, which will then be rolled out to each county squad over the next 12 months.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo