Italy forges link between schools and clubs with help from ICC Europe funding
Tue, Dec 11, 2012 3:29 PM
The primary goal of Federazione Cricket Italiana had set itself for 2012 was to consolidate the fragile link between the schools where cricket is played, and the youth section of clubs, thus offering students the possibility to play more structured cricket in addition to the Kwik version.
The relationship between schools and clubs had always been difficult due to the inability of the Federazione to sustain it financially. This is the reason behind the decision to tackle this fundamental problem through the Regional Funding Support, in order to guarantee continuity to the development of the game in Italy. The results of this project, financed by ICC Europe, were positively staggering- a great majority of the schools involved actively took part and with great interest in the project recording in detail all the activities undertaken.
The most impressive result of 2012 was the introduction of more youths to the game, boys and girls aged between 11 and 14 playing in all forms of cricket including inter-schools events was a substantial growth. Generally one can sense a growing awareness towards the game on behalf of the indigenous elements. This goes hand in hand with the progressive integration of the Asian immigrants in Italian society.
The project’s success owes to various factors. Firstly, it was vital to obtain the trust of school headmasters, in particular in regard of moving from Kwik to hard ball cricket. In the second instance, a lot of work was done on improving the standard of the coaches who were tutored by those who, in turn, had been educated by ICC Europe. As always is required in these cases, luck helped our cause making 2012 a year of great harvest of the seeds implanted in the preceding years. Last but not least, the planning and timing of the project were decisive for the positive final outcome.
The next step for the Federazione will consist in adding quality to quantity in the development pathway of Italian young cricketers through the introduction of Summer Camps. The Federazione is convinced that the time has come to offer the possibility to youths interested to play cricket all year round without suffering from the summer break, which in Italy is more than 3 months long. This can be done by introducing Summer Camps, the Federazione is hoping that all those who have started playing during the school year, will continue to do so also during the break.