Cricket Ireland launches ‘Cricket Connects’
January 22nd 2021 by Ali Nolan | International
Cricket Ireland, in partnership with Cork Sports Partnership, has launched a new participation initiative, ‘Cricket Connects’ - a programme engaging with people and groups not currently accessing cricketing opportunities to expand playing, volunteering and coaching of cricket.
The programme is a bespoke training programme built around communication, awareness, and leadership skills - encouraging, supporting, and mentoring participants to undertake volunteering and coaching roles within the programme and their immediate and wider community.
Adjusting to the current COVID-19 government guidelines, the Cricket Connects programme is being delivered online over five weeks. Facilitated and mentored by the inimitable Ted Williamson, learners will be taken through ‘Leadership and Cricket’ modules discussing what leadership means to them and sharing best practise ideas for running cricket sessions incorporating the importance of ‘Fun’ and the development of Fundamental Movement Skills.
“It’s been great to be part of this brand new programme from the very start, working through the possibilities and the best way to deliver in these different times has been really challenging.”
“Providing a social inclusion opportunity like Cricket Connects to people who might not have access but are interested in the sport and interested in getting more involved in local life is something that I see value in and something I hope adds value to the lives of the participants.”
Image: Ted Williamson has been supporting the launch of the programme
Supported by the Sport Ireland Dormant Accounts Fund, Cricket Connects provides training for participants to become involved as players, coaches and volunteers within their local cricket club, school, or community.
Building on the leadership and cricketing knowledge, CARA/Cork Sports Partnership will lead the ‘Sport Inclusion and Disability Awareness’ highlighting the importance of offering an inclusive environment and giving participants the tools to make this happen. The ‘Multicultural Awareness’ module has been designed and will be delivered by Maria Lynch, an expert in this area.
Cricket Ireland has also partnered with the Community-Academic Research Links (CARL) at University College Cork to conduct a pioneering research element of this pilot programme. With all registered participants current residents of Direct Provision Accommodation, the research will look at the potential and real social impacts of this initiative.