June 20, 2012
USYCA has received this from its newest member, the Germantown (MD) Kids Cricket Club:
You would think that kids born and raised in United States would not be interested in cricket, but somehow through Cricket World Cup matches and pop culture on satellite TV and internet, cricket has managed to transcend the worlds of a new generation of cricket fans in a continent where baseball and NFL is the norm. The challenge laid in how to grow and nourish this new passion for an old gentlemen's sport.
So for few years, a small parents' group began scouting local clubs to provide a venue for their kids to play cricket. The only clubs they could find out and hear about were for adults - more than 30 in just one county around DC metro. However, not a single one existed for the kids. In summer of 2011 they gave up the search and began their own little club - a place just for the kids to enjoy the game. With about 5 kids, Germantown Kids Cricket Club (GKCC) was born in August 2011. To keep the focus on enjoying a good game, the coaches quickly did away with some redundant and complex rules.
The dads took up the task themselves began coaching the kids using hard tennis ball and secured the baseball field at Kingsview Middle School for Sunday mornings. For the next 12 Sundays, word spread and other friends brought their kids to join in the fun. More impressive was the kids' enthusiasm - who until then played only either in basements or when visiting grandparents in their parents' home country. Moms joined in as well, volunteering to bring fresh lunch and snacks for the kids post-game. Soon it became a family event to spend quality time together. After 12 Sundays, GKCC ended its first season in October 2011 with about 20 kids enrolled.
Winter ended and all kids, eager to begin playing again, began asking for an early start in Spring 2012, which is currently underway. This time however, the number of kids ballooned to 60+ very quickly. A few enthusiastic players even asked their parents to have them quit baseball and soccer teams to continue to play cricket. The coaches had to get used to the large number and made 5 groups - 4 distinct, equally balanced teams and a fifth one, Junior group, for under 8 yr olds. Nobody wanted to miss out on the fun. At the time of writing this article, there is an intramural tournament being played among the four teams of ages 9-14 and the 2 baseball fields at Kingsview MS buzzing with excitement. The summer season will begin in August 2012, and all signs point to an even larger enrollment and also creation of a travel team which will play external tournaments.
The foundations of GKCC lie in taking initiative, being the agent of change, cultivating leadership skills, enjoying time with family and having a good time while doing it all. Everyone is encouraged to participate in whatever way they see fit - if an idea is presented, it is discussed and implemented right away.
GKCC shares a vision with USYCA to promote the wonderful game in the US among younger generation and ultimately provide opportunities and visibility for good players. Recently GKCC became an excited new member affiliate of USYCA. This will be a strong partnership that GKCC is certainly looking forward to cultivate in time to come.
"USYCA is thrilled to have the Germantown Kids Cricket Club on the team," said President Jamie Harrison. "I visited with them earlier this month, and was very impressed by the level of commitment and enthusiasm I saw from both the players and the parents. Programs like this represent the bright future of cricket in America, and we are lucky to have them."
YouTube video created by GKCC.