I arrived at the school ready for an 8am start on Friday 23rd July 2021. I was to work with the students of a Summer school, with the remit being to introduce the students to the fundamentals of cricket, in an enjoyable and entertaining manner. I was greeted by Mr Greg, who was a pleasure to meet, and very helpful to me throughout my time there. The same applied to all of the school's staff who I encountered at Arakapas.
The students I worked with were split into 3 groups by age; 6 to 8, 9 to 11, and 12 to 14 years (approximately). I worked with the youngest group first. Each of the 3 sessions ran for a duration of 90 minutes. At the beginning of each session I demonstrated the use of the cricket equipment, assisted by Mr Greg. The demonstration involved ball, bat and stumps.
In each session we began with a warm up that involved catching the ball. I used the softest balls available because the students were new to the concept of cricket, and also because the play area was indoors, in the main school hall. 3 types of throw were available to the students (who were operating in pairs). These were;
1. along the ground
2. throw to torso height
3. throw the ball to arrive from above the receiving student.
All throws were under-arm, and the students were requested to catch with two hands.
The next part of the session involved the students (again operating in pairs) to throw the ball, again under-arm, at targets that were 3 metres away. The pairs were positioned either side of each of the targets, allowing the non-throwing student to trap the ball in readiness for their own opportunity to aim at the target, which was a thin rubber marker of about 25 cm in height, with round base of about 30 cm in diameter.
Finally, the group (numbering between 8 and 14 students) were brought together. Essentially there was a batter, a bowler and a wicket keeper. All of the remaining students were arranged in a semi-circle, square and forward of the batter. Each of the roles were demonstrated and explained. The fielders were expected to return the ball gently to the bowler when the opportunity arose.
After 10 or so bowling deliveries the students changed positions such that they effectively rotated one place to the left. This granted an opportunity for everyone to have a go at everything. This activity continued until the end of the time allocation for the session.
I believe that the sessions were enjoyed by all of the students, with some of whom expressing a keen interest in further involvement in the game of cricket.
I wish to thank the staff of the Summer school for their kindness, positivity and cooperation throughout my time there. I also very much enjoyed my school lunch in the canteen, and chatting with staff and students.
Juniors Cricket Coach