Orange County Cricket Association (OCCA) has introduced cricket to eight schools in Orange County in the past few years. Based on the follow up on the progress of cricketing activities in schools, OCCA recognized that it is more beneficial to monitor progress and to help schools develop their skill levels to the point that students can play cricket with confidence during PE classes and possibly play matches between classes to maintain interest and momentum.
It has also recognized that it is important to offer a roadmap to the students, ensuring that those who are interested in more serious cricket have a chance to play regional and national games. To this end, OCCA will be offering regular coaching and are determined to field U-15 and U-17 teams in youth tournaments and, in addition, are organizing friendly matches against teams in the vicinity.
In line with the above mission, OCCA conducted an introductory session to explain how to play cricket at Las Flores Middle School where eight cricket sets had been purchased by the school from US Youth Cricket and PE teachers have showed a willingness to learn, take ownership, play and enjoy the game during PE periods.
After the first session, PE teacher Aryn Klein expressed her satisfaction and thanked OCCA for a very fruitful first session. She appreciated and welcomed a structured program to learn, train and develop skills for the students and for the four PE teachers in the school. The object is to quickly get to a point where cricket can be played on regular basis, creating a valuable opportunity for students to learn a bat and ball game in addition to other sports.
OCCA is planning to start the OCCA Youth Academy in March 2014 with the goal to field U-15 and U-17 youth teams by the end of 2014.
OCCA President Shantha Suraweera and Manjula Vithana conducted this session. Both Manjula and Shantha are members of OCCA Youth Cricket Development Committee.