Indianapolis, Indiana – Franklin Township Middle School East has become the first school to launch the USYCA Schools Program in Indiana. The Franklin Township school system is unique in that it has a world cultural club program to support international students' activities. The program, which celebrates world cultural events, began in the 2003-04 school year and has been a great success.
Chris Bogart, a social studies teacher, received the school’s American Cricket Champ set from IYCA/USYCA and plans on teaching cricket during his module on India and Australia and other cricket playing nations. Bogart anticipates three or more days of cricket lessons, during which he will give instruction on rules and cultural connections to the people who play the second most-popular spectator sport in the world. He also plans to teach cricket after school, both indoors and outdoors. In addition, he is trying to interest other PE teachers within the school system to add cricket to their regular student activities.
While meeting with Jatin Patel, 2nd Vice President, USYCA and President of the INYCA, Bogart said, "I am hoping that cricket will help young people here in the USA become more active. It will also help to create more cultural diversity amongst the young students as they learn about world cultures.
"It’s great to have safe and more durable cricket kit for the young kids," Bogart said. "In the past I generally used proper cricket equipment to help demonstrate some of the rules and then used a tennis racket and cones to actually play with the students, which unfortunately takes away the real effect. I can't use the proper equipment for safety concerns and the weight is difficult for some of the smaller students."
Bogart also promotes cricket to his students by keeping them updated on the 2011 Cricket World Cup and other news which will help students to get excited about cricket.
"I have known Mr. Bogart since he joined Franklin Central schools and have known of his interest in cricket," Patel said. "He often talks about cricket in school during classes, and the USYCA youth program will provide the support and tools he needs to introduce cricket to youths without safety concerns."
Also during the 2010-2011 school year, WRFT 91.5FM in Indianapolis discussed cricket matters many times during their Friday late afternoon regular sports talks show and the station plans to cover more cricket matters for the local community in the future.