800 children from schools in Antrim, Crumlin, Templepatrick and Randalstown will benefit from a cricket coaching programme supported by Belfast International Airport.
The airport’s financial support will help Muckamore Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club provide coaching for each of the 19 schools signed up to take part in the mega coaching effort.
The primary schools will each receive up to 6 hours of coaching and secondary-level schools up to 50 hours. The aim is to build basic cricket skills and enable the pupils to play in organised games.
The programme will culminate in a “Cricket Festival Day” at Muckamore’s playing facilities at Moylena.
Graham Keddie, Managing Director of Belfast International Airport, said: “I am delighted that so many of the airport’s local schools have signed up to the cricket coaching programme.
“We believe that young people learn many different skills from engaging in all types of sport and, for many, this will offer them their first opportunity to try the game of cricket under expert supervision. The fact that 800 children are participating says a lot about the desire there is to learn more about a fabulous sport. This is all about pushing the boundaries, broadening the appeal and engaging in a tangible and meaningful way with our immediate local community.”
Bobby Rao, Muckamore Cricket Club’s Head Coach, who attended the launch of the programme, said: “The future of cricket is dependent on the need to enthuse young people about a sport that both challenges and develops participants at an individual level.
“Belfast international Airport’s support means that we can bring our sport to many young people who have neither played nor seen a cricket match. Who knows, we may have the next Ireland XI in their midst!”
The schools participating are:
Parkhall Primary School Antrim Primary School
Sixmilewater Integrated Primary School Round Tower Integrated Primary School
Greystone Primary School St Joseph’s Primary School, Crumlin
Randalstown Central Primary School Creggan Primary School
Mount St Michael’s Primary School Antrim Grammar S school
Ballycraigy Primary School Creavery Primary School
Parkgate Primary School Straidhaveron Primary School
Crumlin Integrated Primary School Kells & Connor Primary School
Groggan Primary School McKinney Primary School
Parkhall Integrated College