Western BOP cricket awareness kicks off

Matua School students take place in the cricket awareness programme. Image: Supplied.

Although it is still winter, 5500 Western Bay of Plenty youngsters are ready to enjoy some cricket, with the cricket awareness programme starting this week.

The Western Bay of Plenty Cricket Association’s programme started on Tuesday at Matua School, with six full sessions.

The programme is aimed at year one to year four school pupils, and is taken into schools from Maketu to Katikati, as well as including Waimate School near Waihi on special request.

The free introduction to cricket programme is taken into the schools by a specialist team of junior cricket coaches, and this year’s term three programme is setting new records with 282 classes scheduled at 33 schools.

Many of the young students will be participating in cricket for the first time, therefore the sessions are based around the core skills of catching and throwing a tennis ball. As the students’ progress, participants will be introduced to basic batting and bowling using plastic bats and stumps.

Western Bay of Plenty Cricket manager Don Warner says he is delighted with the record numbers booked for the programme this year.

“We are also promoting out NZ cricket superstars academy programme at the schools we visit as a pathway to learn further cricket skills.”

The Superstars Academy is a resource based program delivered by Western Bay of Plenty Cricket, delivered in eight week blocks in term four and term one in 2020, at seven Western Bay venues.

“This season we are increasing the venues throughout the Western Bay with the Superstars program being delivered at Golden Sands School and Gordon Spratt Reserve in Papamoa along with venues at Blake Park, Tauranga Domain, Fergusson Park and Pemberton Park”, says Don.  

Superstars Academy, is a natural progression for the year one to four school pupils, who have taken part in the WBOPCA cricket awareness curriculum. The aspiring players will be learning the rules of the game as well as learning the skills of bowling, batting, fielding and wicket keeping, so that big hits, taking wickets and holding on to catches are within the grasp of all participants.

“Both the Cricket Awareness and Superstars program are based upon creating a fun environment, from where our local youngsters have the skills to go on to play Saturday morning junior cricket."

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