Prince George's County Public Schools will become the first American school system to offer the centuries-old game of cricket to its physical education classes this fall.
The new program, sponsored by the United States Youth Cricket Association (USYCA) and delivered by the Maryland Youth Cricket Association (MYCA), will give free equipment and instruction in the original American team sport to PGCPS elementary and middle schools.
This fall, MYCA will train physical education teachers in the sport and provide schools with cricket equipment. The schools participating in the program will then introduce the sport to students in physical education classes.
“Prince George's County Public Schools is excited about this partnership that will bring the international sport to our physical education teachers and students,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. Superintendent of Schools.
Cricket emphasizes good sportsmanship, is easily modified for indoor or outdoor play, and can be adapted to any playing surface. The world's second-most popular sport, cricket can also be used to promote a greater understanding of international cultures as children learn about cricket-playing nations and their players.
USYCA is a network of volunteer organizations that promotes good health and an active lifestyle for children through cricket and has recently announced a partnership with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. The groundbreaking USYCA cricket program is being offered free of charge to any American school system that expresses an interest.
“We are delighted that Prince George's County will be bringing cricket to its schools this year,” said Jamie Harrison, President of USYCA. “It is fitting that a county with as much history as Prince George's will be returning to America's first team sport, a sport that was played by George Washington's soldiers at Valley Forge.”
"Cricket is a sport for every type of student, and not simply for those who are large, strong or fast. Cricket rewards patience, technique and intelligence, which will hopefully encourage more students to participate,” Harrison said. “It’s a game that focuses on patience and practice, and it is a great sport for kids to learn about fitness.”
The USYCA is dedicated to introducing cricket to American children by supporting local youth cricket organizations and by sharing funding, printed and digital resources, and “best practices.”
For more information on the USYCA, visit http://usyouthcricket.org.