With two days of non-stop cricket and the opportunity to meet, train and learn from some of the best, the second annual Kingswood College Cricket Clinic, which took place from 13 – 14 January was the perfect start to the cricketing season.
Off the back of a successful clinic at the start of 2022, this year saw over 70 young cricketers between the ages of 10-13 join us for this pre-season event.
The first day of the clinic saw the primary focus on skill-based work while the second day saw our keen cricketers taking part in a match day. After the official welcome on Friday morning, all the players moved down to Dold Field, where the clinic started in earnest with a fun fielding session. Players were divided into groups and these groups rotated through the seven stations that were set up on the field.
The afternoon session kicked off with another fielding session. There was an intentional focus on the core skills of fielding, namely, catching, throwing and getting into the correct positions when moving to stop the ball. The young cricketers then moved up to our High-Performance Centre to hone in on their batting skills.
The first session comprised of the basics of batting, set up, defence and scoring options off the front foot, through the off side and on side. The second session saw these young cricketers move onto scoring shots off the back foot, which were the pull and cut shot. The final batting session comprised of a power hitting game. This created a great buzz around our HPC, as every player enjoyed trying to hit the ball as far and as hard as they could.
The highlight of this clinic was without a doubt the fact that Mr Ryan van Niekerk (Coaching Director at the Gary Kirsten Cricket), and Mr Gary Kirsten himself, were in attendance at the clinic. Mr Gary Kirsten is a former Protea Cricket player who later became coach for the team. He went on to be a World Cup winning Cricket Coach for the Indian team and is currently the Assistant Coach for the Gujarat Lions. Both Ryan and Gary attended the clinic, interacting and coaching these aspiring cricketers.
The Saturday morning started with a bowling session facilitated by Ryan van Niekerk and Andrew Birch (Kingswood College High Performance Cricket Coach and former Warriors player) at our junior nets. Cricketers were exposed to the fundamentals of bowling technique with the use of simple and effective drills.
The group were then divided into six teams according to their age brackets. T20 matches were played on all the junior school fields throughout the morning- this was a fantastic advertisement for school cricket and thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.
At the completion of the matches, our participants enjoyed an inspiring talk van Niekerk and Kirsten in our Kingswood Chapel. The enthusiastic crowd of cricketers asked some brilliant questions. The take home message for the young cricketers was ‘Keep enjoying the game and do what you can to make the team better’.
The clinic concluded with Gary facilitating a talk with the parents at the Wyvern. His talk which is titled, “Parenting in Sport”, was a real hit with the parents and certainly left all in attendance with some real food for thought.