School 2 Club Case Study
Read this interview with Lee Bailey (Crossflatts Cricket club assistant Secretary and 1st team vice captain)
TCA: Hi Lee, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. So firstly, why did Crossflatts CC decide to enrol on The Cricket Asylum School2Club project?
LB: At Crossflatts we are working hard to improve the club both on and off the field. We thought one of the main factors in helping us succeed would be the introduction of a new junior section, and that the School2Club would help kick-start us and bring in some new junior players.
TCA: What did it involve?
LB: It was all very easy to organise, the Cricket Asylum identified a number of local schools to approach, where their coaches would go into school for coaching sessions and to drum up some interest. We were lucky enough to have 3 sponsors on board that helped cover the cost of the School2Club project, so it didn’t cost the club anything, so it seemed like a no-brainer to us.
TCA: Sounds good, so how has that worked out for you in terms of junior cricket?
LB: Our very first training session was a great success, we had 19 brand new players down, and the numbers have been increasing since. This has meant a brand new under 9’s team, with some players even as young as 6. We have an under 11’s team lined up for next season. So along with our existing u17s this year we have 2 junior teams, next year rising to at least 3, and with talk of also setting up a Girls team.
TCA: How are the new under 9s finding their first experience of Cricket?
LB: By the looks of things they are enjoying themselves, training is well attended, and its been hard having to select just 10 players from a possible 18 under 9s for each game. They managed to win their first game a few weeks ago, and were very excited and happy afterwards. However due to the young ages of some of the boys, they are coming up against some strong sides, but the main thing is they are having fun and playing cricket, and they will only improve with time
TCA: What affect has the project had off the field?
LB: With the new juniors at the club, that means new parents and new members to the club, which has seen our bar takings increase, especially on Friday nights (training night). Going forward, we are hoping that some of these parents will become more involved with helping junior teams run smoothly, and possibly become more engaged with other aspects within the club. Also, the new sponsors have been a big help, because without them we couldn’t have started this new project. The extra income brought into the club has allowed us to purchase brand new junior equipment, and new playing shirts for the boys so they’re all looking smart.
We have also seen more senior players getting involved at the club, mainly with junior training and match days, and with TCA coaches soon to be coming down for a ‘Coach training night’ hopefully we can keep them interested and take steps to putting these guys through their coaching qualifications.
TCA: Brilliant, sounds like it has been a big success. Finally, what would you say to other clubs struggling for junior players and teams.
LB: I would certainly recommend the School2Club project to them. The whole thing has only been extremely positive for us, it has meant extra work for the club and coaches, but the outcome is certainly worth it. We have seen the club benefit financially, but it also gave us the boost and guidance we needed to take the plunge with a new junior section, and to see so many new faces playing cricket at the club has been awesome.
TCA: Thanks Lee, we’re glad its been a success and hope this continues for you!