LEVANTE CRICKET CLUB BRING THE BEAUTIFUL GAME TO NUESTRA SENORA DEL CARMEN SCHOOL
After a successful day clinic in May, Levante Cricket Club went back to Nuestra Senora Del Carmen school in Barrio del Cristo, Aldaia to engage the youngsters in further cricketing skills and introduce them to the Street Cricket concept.
The Levante players, Andy Pilkington, Scott Burchell and Dave Tivey spent a full morning with the Spanish kids teaching them basic batting, bowling and fielding skills, before embarking on a street cricket competition after a small break.
Veronica Garcia, a teacher at the school instigated the project earlier this year when she thought that it would be a good opportunity for students to discover cricket as part of the schools " Culture Week" and the children enjoyed the introduction to the sport so much she invited the Levante players back to build on this experience.
Cricket Espana got wind of this excellent initiative and asked Levante CC if they would incorporate the event into their ongoing Street Cricket project. It coincided with a visit from England by Ben Cajee of ICC Europe and Danny Baker of Cricket4Change who are overseeing a huge Street Cricket project throughout Europe, part funded by the ICC
The morning started with the kids put into three different groups and given 15 minute coaching sessions on the fundamentals of batting, bowling and fielding.
A short snack and water break later the kids took part in a four team Street Cricket bonanza. The semi finals pitted India against England and South Africa matched with Australia.
The noise level heightened as the kids chanted their teams name and supported their team mates, and two close matches saw South Africa and India edge through to the final.
On corresponding pitches England downed Australia in the 3rd-4th play off, whilst India beat South Africa to be crowned Street Cricket champions for the day.
All the participants were given a Street Cricket T - shirt with the Levante logo on it and several of the players enjoyed the experience so much they showed up at the weekend to watch Levante CC's league game with Madrid CC.
Plans are already afoot to continue the sessions on a regular basis and Cricket Espana will be looking to create a Street Cricket league in Valencia in the near future.
Thanks go to all the coaches for giving their time for free, to Danny and Ben for their invaluable input and feedback during and after the session, and the teachers at the school who have bought in to the whole concept.
Last but not least, a huge thank you to all the children whose energy and curiosity made the event a great morning for all involved, convincing all concerned that cricket and sport can really help change lives.