Sussex Cricket stars including Sid the Shark visit Crawley school for special day of cricket

The pupils of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary School had a treat last week when stars from Sussex Cricket visited.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 7:54 am
Updated Monday, 6th December 2021, 7:56 am

The Ifield school had a special cricket day and bowler Jamie Atkins and batsman Alastair Orr were on hand to show them the skills needed to play cricket - and they were joined by mascot Sid the Shark.

Sussex Cricket launched the Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Crawley in June and part of that is getting more children - in particular girls - to play the sport.

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Sid the Shark, Ali Orr and Jamie Atkins with the children of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary School

And girls and boys at Our Lady got to practice with Sussex Cricket coaches and the school’s sports council got to quiz Atkins and Orr about life as a professional cricketer.

Headteacher Tobias Melia said: “It’s been a fantastic day. The children have been really looking forward to meeting the players and staff of Sussex Cricket.

“We have got a great relationship with Sussex Cricket they have been great supporters of our school and other schools in Crawley over many years.

“It is something we haven’t been able to do as much because of Covid. But hopefully we are coming towards the end of the pandemic and this weill be something we can get more engaged with. And get cricket played back in schools.”

Sussex bowler Jamie Atkins signs an autograph

Atkins, 19, grew up playing cricket at Roffey Cricket Club. He said: “We are trying to get as many children as we can playing cricket and introduce them to the game of cricket, and get them into playing a game Ali [Orr] and I love.

“We think it’s an amazing sport and why shouldn;t someone who hasn’t experienced the game have a go at it.”

Orr, 20, said: “It’s really important for us to give back to the community.

“I can imagine when I was back at primary school if two cricketers came to visit us I would have been so excited.

“If we inspire some children and they take up cricket, that’s a huge positive.

“We have our local communities to thank for getting us into cricket. We wouldn’t be in the position we are now if we hadn’t got the support from schools and clubs."