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What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

Get out the bats and put up the wickets – Here comes cricket

One of the world’s oldest and most popular sports is being introduced in Rainbow Schools with support from the Ministry of Education’s Programs and Partnership Development Program. During the last school year, Rainbow District School Board received $10,000 to purchase cricket equipment and train staff. Another $20,500 has been provided this year to bring the game to more schools and more students.

Cricket is a striking/fielding game that is prominent in a large number of countries including Australia, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, The West Indies, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, The Netherlands, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. It’s similar to baseball in format, with one batting team and one fielding team. The objective is to outscore the other team.

“Cricket is a big passion of mine,” said Matt Cootes, Physical Literacy and Physical Education Coordinator (K-12) for Rainbow District School Board. As a teacher, Matt Cootes has organized cricket on a limited basis. “With this funding, we are now able to fully embed the sport in the curriculum, which is really exciting,” he said.

Physical education teachers in Rainbow Schools participated in initial training in the fall of 2022. Lessons have already taken place at Lasalle Secondary School, Lively District Secondary School, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Manitoulin Secondary School, S. Geiger Public School, Valley View Public School, Confederation Secondary School and Lockerby Composite School.

“While cricket is very new to a great number of staff and schools, we have an ever-growing student population with experience in the game,” said Matt Cootes. “Many of our newcomers are familiar with cricket because it is an important part of their culture.” He added: “They welcome the opportunity to share their love of the sport with their classmates in Canada. We welcome the opportunity to offer more culturally relevant in-class and intramural activities to our diverse student body.”

Rainbow District School Board has partnered with the Big Nickel Cricket Club and Cambrian College, which has a travelling team, to assist with skills development as well as school and community events. Workshops and events will take place at individual schools and the Lancer Dome. “With support from the City of Greater Sudbury and Sudbury Local Immigration Partnership, we will be running an evening session in the Dome to provide a place for members of the community to come in and play the game,” said Matt Cootes. “Cricket has given us another avenue through which to strengthen our connections between school and community.”

Through cricket, Rainbow District School Board is promoting healthy, active living, while fostering equity and inclusive education. “Cricket challenges students’ understanding and competencies in movement skills, striking skills (batting) and sending skills (bowling),” said Matt Cootes. While cricket is currently being introduced in Grades 4 to 12, the physical activity in Kindergarten to Grade 3 builds the foundation for the transferable skills involved in cricket, including throwing, catching, striking, tracking, balancing and fielding.

He added: “By increasing our knowledge of cricket, we enhance the variety of activities and games we expose our students to, which in turn leads to more physically literate individuals. With cricket, we not only give students an opportunity to gain new skills, we also enhance the choice of activities that students can explore. Who knows! We may be on the cusp of launching the next generation of cricketers.”


Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 674-3171, ext. 7217.

Photos: Students in the Lasalle Secondary School Intermediate Program are learning cricket, a popular sport being introduced in Rainbow Schools in Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin Island.