Teaching and coaching cricket in school is one thing, but as with any sport it should not stop there.
Many children may already be playing for cricket clubs and teams outside of school, but what can teachers do and what is out there to encourage participation in cricket outside of school for those children that currently don’t play?
In many ways, it is all about creating a pathway from school into clubs, and there are several different
Links with local clubs
It may sound obvious but a link with a local club or clubs is a great first port of call.
Many local grassroots cricket clubs will have their own junior and youth sections, and see bringing youngsters into the club as a way of developing and sustaining the club for the future.
Check out the cricket clubs within a feasible catchment area of your school and see which of those clubs caters for junior players, and for what ages.
Any local cricket club worth its salt will actively welcome new juniors, so why not ask them about getting a coach from the club to perhaps come in and do a taster session. Alternatively ask them if they would come in and do an assembly, a great way for children to find out about the club and the club to promote themselves to the children.
County Cricket Boards
Your local County Cricket Board is also another great way to create a pathway for budding cricketers out of school.
They should have a list of all local clubs in your area, with relevant contact details and also information whether these clubs also run junior sections and at what age.
Whilst you are on the case, why not ask the County Cricket Board about coming in to do some coaching sessions for your school, and creating links with them.
Chance to Shine
The Chance to Shine initiative continues to make great strides in bringing cricket back into state schools, and in the same way as County Cricket Boards should also have contacts and links with local feeder clubs for children to join. In fact many Chance to Shine projects are now delivered by County Cricket Boards with this in mind.
Local Authorities Sports Development
Contact your local Council’s Sports Development team (or other relevant) as they should also have strong links with all sporting clubs in your area. They will have a good handle on which clubs are more pro-active when it comes to junior cricket, and also have contacts with any local leagues that operate.
Cricket coaching companies
There are an increasing number of specialist cricket coaching companies emerging who cater for the development of junior cricketers.
Many work directly in schools during curriculum time and operate before-school, lunchtime or after-school sessions. For example, one such company – Twenty20 Cricket Company enjoys links with local clubs in Surrey, Middlesex, Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire, and Northamptonshire – from where many of their summer activities are based, and actively promotes a pathway for the children they coach in schools to think about joining and develop further at these clubs.
Holiday cricket camps
Cricket Courses and Camps are now hugely popular, and especially great for parents looking for things for their children to do during the holidays, and for children to do something they enjoy and with their friends and other like-minded children.
These courses in the main cater for all ages and abilities, although there are some who tend to promote towards children with experience (luckily these are few and far between)
These courses are held during most school holidays no matter what the weather. The summer months naturally tend to lend these courses and camps being outdoors whilst autumn and winter you will tend to find indoor venues being the norm.
These venues can vary from local sports centres, schools and at local cricket clubs.
If a course is staged at local club, then interested junior and their parents have an immediate head-start to check out the facilities and some of the people running the club.
Perhaps your school already runs a holiday course? If not, why not think about looking into staging one.