Increasing cricket participation at UCS

Increasing cricket participation at UCS. How 2G Flicx Pitches are giving pupils more opportunity to play cricket at this London school.

University College School in London is a thriving hub for cricket with pupils filling 19 teams across age groups in the 2019 season.

Dan Brown is Head of Cricket at UCS and caught up with us to discuss the reasons behind purchasing a number of Flicx pitches.

The school’s sports fields are based in nearby Cricklewood and a limitation on space makes it a challenge to cater for the volume of cricket, both matches and training, that there’s demand for.

Increasing cricket participation at UCS

So, University College School bought two 2G Flicx pitches in March 2019 (1 x Multi Age Pitch 22.12m x 1.8m & 1 x Skills Batting End 10m x 1.8m) to help address that conundrum which creates 3 batting strips.

“We’ve only two cricket squares so we use the Flicx mats to give more boys the opportunity to play cricket. We also have lower-ability, soft ball games on there to get more fixtures in. It’s to increase participation.”

Dan’s particularly noticed that their soft ball cricket sessions (where the pupils have no need for pads) resulted in confidence of strokes on the artificial surface: “If you use a wind ball, it bounces consistently and allows us to access the game really well.”

Quick and easy set up

Setting up for any cricket session needs to be quick and easy and the advantage with our pitches is that they can be in place to aid with a variety of activities:

“We just roll the Flicx pitch down onto the outfield and play on it. The kids do their drills in the nets or on the astro and then we’ll incorporate a game using the mats.”

In fact, the set-up at UCS soon got another school curious as to where they got their artificial pitches from: “Aldenham School were playing us saw other games going on using the mats and they said, ‘We’d like to do that as well!’ In fact, I see their use becoming more popular.”

For a PE teacher like Dan, there is the management of resources with multiple matches happening on one site. Alongside that comes a need to invigorate practice:

“Cricket, by its nature, can often take place in nets in a sports hall but we need to promote decision-making in a match situation and being able to give kids the opportunity to play a game.”

Multi – venue use

They also use their Flicx pitches on the hockey astro with the benefit that it opens up more areas of the school in which to play cricket. Increasingly, where you can play cricket is a puzzle that schools and cricket clubs need to find creative solutions to.

For University College School, they can now cater for all of their teams as well as having the flexibility to encourage pupils less serious about cricket to still enjoy it.

Big thanks to Dan for helping to create this case study on increasing cricket participation at UCS which was written on behalf of Flicx by John Fuller, Cricket Yorkshire.

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