It’s a well known fact that there are a lot of health benefits of sport, and cricket has lots of these benefits especially for kids. But it is somewhat limited outside of club sports, with many schools not supporting it. So I’ll attempt (as a parent) why you should choose junior cricket as your summer sport.
As a parent myself and having seen my two boys be treated appallingly by their clubs (winning isn’t everything guys!) I can personally vouch for the difference I have seem in them since they started playing cricket. So, I ask the question, has your child or yourselves every thought about cricket as a way of getting into sport. To be blunt, cricket is the best summer sport of all – just ask 10CC.
There are many benefits of getting your child involved in sport but we’re just going to focus on junior cricket:
- Mental Health – even more so since the start of the pandemic, getting outside and active can give your children a huge mental health boost. Being involved in cricket, there is less pressure than in other sports, like football too.
- Physical fitness – again, with months of lockdown and lack of onsite education, screen time has increased significantly. So getting you child active through a sport such as cricket helps redress the balance with regular exercise throughout the spring and summer months. Last season my eldest played U14s, U15s and 3rd team cricket meaning he was getting around 12 hours exercise a week!
- Concentration – Stand offers junior cricket for children aged between 6 to 17 and can really improve the motor skills and concentration of young people. Even the most distracted kid will fully focus on the very hard, fast and small ball when hurtling towards them. It can also improve your kids general fitness levels, with better stamina, balance and improved hand-eye coordination.
- It’s social – the best thing about cricket is the team ethos and how it can build resilience. Winning is not the be all and end all in junior cricket and even though they your kid might drop a catch or get bowled for a duck, I’ve seen team-mates surround them and pick them back up. With the younger ones, this camaraderie if built in to them – teaching them to be part of a team – to support, cheer and help each other one.
- Cricket reduces stress – yes I know, how do you measure this, but we witness it every year. Kids who participate in sport in general see a reduction in stress levels, but I genuinely see my two boys be so much more relaxed during the cricket season.
- Boosts self confidence – playing cricket at junior level means everyone gets a fair go at bowling and batting. You see them grow year on year as the master the art of catching a ball, hitting the wicket from the outfield and running someone out, improving their batting skills and hitting their first 4, and bowling some one out.
- Role models – as I mentioned earlier, my eldest played 3rd team cricket – with experienced senior players, and with this I have seen him start to look up to some of them, and in turn they have taken him under their wing. It’s wonderful to see.
- and finally cricket for kids is for everyone. Regardless of age, gender, race, or sporting ability our junior section is from aged 6-to-8 years old teaches them the basic cricket skills through fun, game-based activities. Then from U9s, they play in a modified format of the game in which every child gets a chance to bat, bowl and field.
- but most importantly, cricket is fun!
The big question is does it cost a lot. Well, the answer is no. Junior Membership is £25 per year. Yes the kids need some equipment, but Stand has a lot of hardly used gear we can give parents who may struggle to fund the equipment.
With the cricket season coming up, Stand Cricket Club (based in Whitefield) is in the look out for new juniors players. So if you’re looking for a sporting activity for you child, indoor junior training starts soon, and anyone can come. Outdoor training will start in April. If you ‘re not based in north Manchester – Googling “junior cricket near me” should bring up multiple options for you.
More information can be found on the ECB‘s website.