© 2019 – Nicolas Rackow for OUCC
(By Alice Hart)
On Monday 24th June, fresh from our Varsity victory, Sophie Taylor and I faced an arguably more daunting task than playing the Tabs – teaching a dozen seven-to-nine year olds the basics of cricket. With zero cricket coaching experience, and armed with some plastic stumps and bats, we were ready to teach this young group of brownies (the youth group, not the sweet treat) a bit about our sport.
We were initially slightly worried, being dropped off at a village church for the session. Not only was the church under 10 metres in length, but it had some rather fancy stained glass windows. Not ideal for a game of cricket. Anyway, we were told that we could use a local park for the session, which solved this issue. The next issue came soon after: one of the girls managed to hit herself in the face with the only wooden bat in the collection, drawing a small amount of blood. This was, however, quickly resolved. It was also rather reassuring that we had Sophie, a newly qualified doctor, leading the session.
We taught the girls the basics of catching, bowling and batting. Some were naturals (we were close to recruiting a couple straight to the Blues), whilst others just had a bit of fun. All, however, got stuck in and seemed to genuinely enjoy it. We finished off the session with a game of kwik cricket, combining all the elements that the girls had been taught. The game had moments of solid fielding (some superior than that of the Tabs’ the week before) accurate(ish) bowling and impressive batting.
The girls had all improved over the session, and had achieved something, whether this was catching a ball for the first time or hitting a four. After, many were keen to find a cricket club to play at, or promised to pester their school to let them play during term. My proudest moment came just before we said our goodbyes: receiving my first (and probably my last) brownies badge. The other members of our squad who could not make it to the training session were unsurprisingly extremely jealous of this badge. Overall, it was a great evening. It was good fun, and highly enjoyable passing on our knowledge to the next cricketing generation.