More than 180 children participated in the inaugural Redball Cricket Festival, held at Aberdeenshire Cricket Club (ACC) in Mannofield, Aberdeen on Thursday 15 June.
The Redball Programme was created by ACC and Drum Property Group as an in-school cricket programme, allowing children aged nine to 11 to benefit from the opportunity to learn and play cricket. The Festival saw children from five local primary schools come together to show off their new found cricketing skills and play matches against each other.
The Redball programme is based on Cricket Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence strategy, and is designed to allow maximum participation, assist teachers and students to achieve curriculum outcomes, whilst ensuring cricket is delivered in a fun and engaging way.
During the past year, the programme has delivered 246 coaching sessions for 859 children. The summer of 2017 saw another five primary schools receive coaching, extending the programme to nine schools as it continues to expand in the city.
As a direct result of Redball two schools (Kaimhill and Hazelhead) have signed up to a partnership with ACC through Cricket Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence program. Through this partnership, Cricket Scotland has delivered activity in the schools to further embed cricket into the school gym sessions.
Drum Property Group Finance Director Stuart Oag attended the Festival. He said: “Aberdeenshire Cricket Club has done an excellent job in driving Redball forward, and it was exciting to witness the real impact and enjoyment the programme is bringing to so many pupils from the local schools at the Redball Festival.
“To see 180 kids out there enjoying sport and playing cricket with smiles on their faces was genuinely inspiring. Watching the matches, and listening to the feedback from the coaches and school teachers, the enthusiasm and positivity for playing the game was clearly evident. "
“As a major investor in the North East, it is great for us to see real local benefit and participation arising from our support of the Redball programme, and we look forward to working with ACC to expand the programme in the coming years.”
Bob Buchan of Aberdeenshire Cricket Club and Redball Programme Manager said: “The festival day was the culmination of 18 months’ work and it was great to see so many children having fun and enjoying themselves playing cricket.
“The support and encouragement we have received from Drum Property Group has been fantastic and allowed us to deliver a year-round programme. As soon as we finish a block of coaching the schools ask when are you coming back as the children have so much fun.
“We are beginning to see the transition of children from the schools to our junior section as they start what we hope will be a lifelong cricket journey. This is key to the continuation of cricket not just at the club but in the Aberdeen area. “