Freya Sargent, Mount Temple Secondary School and Clontarf CC
I was privileged to have been able to spend two weeks of my TY Work Experience with Cricket Leinster. Primarily, I was coordinating with Naomi Scott-Hayward (Development Officer) and began my work experience with a full schedule which included assisting various Cricket Leinster coaches in promoting cricket in schools around Dublin. In addition, I was involved in plenty of zoom meetings about Girls Provincial Programmes, Safeguarding Courses and various other workshops organised by Cricket Leinster for the clubs.
I also got an insight into the paths that each of the coaches took to attain their current positions, as well as the breadth of work undertaken by every member of the CL team.
To start off my week, I was assisting Brían O’Rourke in coaching a new group of 4th and 5th class students. The children were very eager to get out of the classroom (who wouldn’t be) and excited once they had seen all of the equipment set out for them.
It was interesting to see how coaches have different ways to grasp and hold children's attention. Brían’s use of Irish is a great example of this. This made ‘Na Páistí’ really pay attention and use their language skills from the classroom.
The children from all of the schools were very upbeat and delighted to welcome the sport of cricket into their school. They were definitely appreciative of the 30 minutes slot they got and tried to participate to the best of their ability.
It was also a pleasure to work alongside Naomi Scott-Hayward, Fintan McAllister, Brían O’Rourke and Isobel Joyce with each of them not only having their own individual approaches to coaching but were consistent in being welcoming, engaging and effective, all imparting different nuggets of knowledge and sharing their love of the sport.
In total, I went to 7 different schools, assisted in 14 different sessions over the two weeks. Each and every session was different which made for a new challenge each day. Thankfully the weather held up and only a single outdoor session was called off.
I assisted in sessions involving age ranges from 5 to 20 years old. This was a great experience as all of the groups were very diverse with so many different personalities, cultural backgrounds, languages and abilities. I had to think on my feet as to how the games could be adapted so that all participants could have a go and feel a level of accomplishment and fun e.g., throwing the ball slower, waiting until the ball rolls before hitting it, hitting off a tee etc.
In conclusion, these two weeks have been most beneficial. I have learned how to plan and run sessions, use many different coaching techniques and skills, along with how to plan Zoom meetings with polls.
It was interesting to observe the different roles, skill-sets and experiences within the Cricket Leinster team – something you would only appreciate by going behind the scenes. I feel that having participated in many different sessions with such fantastic mentors I have gained more confidence in my own abilities to help others learn and enjoy the sport of Cricket.
Having seen so many walks of life in a short space of time, it is lovely to see how sport, especially Cricket, can be enjoyed by all. Cricket certainly became the universal language and a by-word for inclusion.
My thanks to all at Cricket Leinster.
Freya Sargent - Mount Temple Comprehensive School