A couple of months ago, Ally Stokes of the United Junior Cricket Club approached the PE teachers at her son's Texas elementary school with an offer of a free cricket set and some basic instruction. The school was thrilled with the idea, as most schools are, and it was decided to introduce the game through all grades in one exciting week of PE classes.
Ally then went about assembling a team to do the training, and hundreds of emails and background checks later, the volunteers were assembled and three days of continuous PE classes was scheduled! Training began every day with 5th graders and then progressed through the grades each day with approximately fifty children per session.
The children were very engaged with the presentation and even the assertion that cricket is more fun than baseball (remember, this is Texas, where they really love their baseball). By the end of the day, the kids in the hall were chattering about their turn to play cricket and the race was on to score the most runs for bragging rights!
Three days later, cricket was presented to over 900 kids, most of whom had never before played the game. The children had an absolute blast and the PE teachers are already planning more cricket sessions for next week. In addition to the success at Wellington, the PE coordinator for the whole Lewisville Independent School District (47 schools) has invited UJCC to present cricket to the teacher in-service sessions coming up in May and June.
This phenomonal success story is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of Ally and her team at United Junior Cricket Club, who are well on their way to building a youth cricket hotbed in central Texas.
Great work, UJCC!