How to get started with coaching in clubs and schools.
For anyone interested in coaching young children, and especially for anyone trying to introduce cricket for the first time into a new area or school, a research paper prepared by Brian O’Rourke for Cricket Ireland provides an amount of useful information.
The ‘Schoolyard Coaching’ programme goes back to the mid 1990s and has provided one of the most successful initiatives to get children to take up cricket. Thousands of young schoolchildren have been introduced to the game of cricket through the programme which continues to give young children the opportunity to learn new cricket skills and to be part of the ideal schoolyard sport. Many cricket clubs have seen large benefits of these school visits through increased membership. The more established Primary Schools now participate in a hardball knock-out competition played at club grounds during April, May and June. Many clubs now offer school coaching visits themselves and have established very productive ‘club school links’.
Backing up this programme the report details ‘best practice’ examples of how cricket is introduced into schools from the GAA, New Zealand cricket and the ECB. The hope is that by learning from these examples cricket will continue to be introduced into new schools around Ireland in a safe and effective manner, thereby giving further opportunities for schoolchildren to be exposed to the game.
.Kwik Cricket’ is the introductory version of the game that can be played in the school yard, sports hall and playground. This version of the game is played with a plastic bat and stumps and a soft ball so it is very safe for children. It is designed for children from the age of 5 up.
Although many clubs have used . Kwik Cricket’ in one form or another as part of their coaching programmes, they may find it useful to see how it has been developed as a four week course for use in primary schools in Dublin [3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th class children].
Many new cricket-playing Secondary Schools have been established in Leinster in recent years and more are taking up the game each year.
A scheme for introducing cricket for the 13 / 14 year olds called ‘Inter Cricket’ has been developed in the UK. It is designed for circumstances where it is not possible to use a hard ball and serves as a bridge between Kwik Cricket and the traditional hard ball forms of the game. Backed by NatWest in the UK, it is an ECB grassroots initiative is ideal for use in secondary schools.
Inter Cricket can be played by boys or girls in the playground or on grass, indoors or outdoors. The game is designed to be fun, fast, exciting and to reward genuine cricket skills. [In the UK it is directly linked to The NatWest Series and The NatWest Challenge in order to create an aspirational link to the international game.]
Coloured clothing is worn, with coloured pads and gloves, and it is played with coloured bats and a white rubberised ball with a stitched seam.
The full set of rules for the competition can be found at:
The full text of the research paper, contact details and any other information on getting started with cricket can be obtained from: - O'Rourke Brian