First-ever cricket match played between two official Primary Schools Cricket Clubs
Finally, we have managed to stage the first official cricket game between two Primary Schools Cricket Clubs recognized by their own Board of Education in Shizuoka City, once more making history in Japan!
The weather forecast was far from ideal and it was raining over the nearby mountains at 08:00 a.m. but both schools club teachers, Kazuko Nishida, Kumiko Jitsuishi and Saori Mochizuki decided to take a chance and were rewarded with a glorious sunshine in the early afternoon.
Robert-Gilles Martineau was early at the ground to prepare the pitch right in the middle of the Shizuoka Kytes C.C. ground, allowing the kids to make full use of a real Cricket facility for the first time. The ground is presently being expanded by adult members’ sheer work and by May 2007, the Kytes will have the use of a full turf ground larger than Fuji’s.
Shizuhata Naka Primary won the toss and elected to field.
Miwa Primary amassed 63 runs for the loss of 3 wickets, with Captain Hanako Maruyama topscoring with 12 and Fumika Maekawa taking 2 wickets.
In spite of Shoota Unno scoring 14 not out, Shizuhata Naka managed only 54 runs due to tighter bowling by Primary who gave away far less wides. All wickets were taken by girls.
The game was conducted making use of a Kwik Cricket kit. As for the rules, outs were limited to bowled, hit wicket, caught, run out and stumped. Only wides were penalized as other illegal balls had to be replayed without a penalty. Shoota Unno was the first-ever kid to score a real boundary 4.
After the game, players, teachers and the umpire (Robert-Gilles Martineau) took a well-earned respite. Patrick Harrington, who happened to visit the ground with his kids and wife, confessed he was impressed by the level attained by all the kids.
After lunch, both schools agreed to play a friendly game with new teams, mixing kids of both shools. The format having being changed to an all-out innings instead of a limited-over game, the kids had plenty of practice. The Kytes beat the Crows 84/47, thanks to some very fast running between the wickets.
The event which had been scheduled from 10:00 to14:00 actually finished just before 15:00, leaving exhausted teachers asking for an end. The kids (see picture) know there will be more matches in the future and we are sure that a healthy rivalry was born on this fateful day. What with Tachibana joining the fun next year, we shall have to devise a Championship very soon!
During the afternoon we had the visit from a reporter working for the Chunichi Shimbun who interviewed all present.
On Monday, the Shizuoka Shimbun published the result (see picture).
Tachibana Elementary School is an integral part of Tokoha Gakuen University Education which includes Kindergartens, an Elementary School, 2 Junior and Senior High Schools and 3 Universities in the Prefecture of Shizuoka. Thay are particularly active in the fields of International Studies and Sports.
For this first demonstration, sixty pupils and three teachers from the 6th Grade attended. In November, two more demonstrations will be held for two groups of thirty pupils from the 5th Grade who will form the bulk of the new club to be created in April 2007.
We demonstrated the very basics of the game, choosing pupils in turn to have them play and explaining the rules along the way. All instructions were solely conducted in English. We invited the 4 present teachers, Headmaster Kobayshi and his aide to try their hand at the game before calling the session to an end. The kids got their surprise of the day when their Headmaaster slammed a hook in their midst!
The kids were very enthusiastic, the teachers very attentive and their Headmaster all the time present and encouraging them all. A good day's work it was.
After the session the three of us retired to the Headmaster Office for further talks about the creation and preparations of the Club.
The sixth Grade pupils should become a good starting point as most of them will continue to Tachibana Junior High. As for the 5th Grade, they will either use indoors or outdoors facilities as the weather and climate will dictate.
To be continued.
The following report relates their activities in September 2006.
12th: Chiba City, Moga Kinro Shimin Plaza Hall
14th: We held a Cricket Course for kids and parents belonging to the Fuji City First Youth Education Ward. It has been a year since we started this particular programme. Kids whose number has never decreased still show sheer enjoyment at each session. Today, thanks to Alex Miyaji of the JCA, all attending kids were presented with a JCA T-shirt. The grateful kids happily wore them for the whole duration of the session.
19th: As I was on my own for this particular session, I coached the high school boys and girls of the week before with the help of the 3B Physical Education staff. As these high school students’ capacities for learning are particularly good, we should be able to achieve noticeable progress with proper coaching.
21st: Once again we held a Cricket Course for kids and parents belonging to the Fuji City First Youth Education Ward. Kids unable to attend the previous session were presented with JCA T-shirts. Once again we received the visit from teachers working at local private schools in Fuji City. All kids who received their T-shirts last week had donned them again for that session to our deepest pleasure.
23rd: Following last year’s event, this was our second demonstration held in Chiba City Moga Kinro Shimin Hall. 13 Primary School pupils, visiting adults and 8 Kindergarten kids were in attendance. Even one boy from Mexico participated, markedly contributing to the overall atmosphere! We had the pleasure to discover that already 4 kids who already had participated last year showed a good mastership of the game and its rules. I felt that these kids, with a sustained coaching programme, should soon develop into worthy opponents on the field!
26th: The session at Fuji Municipal Yoshihara Kita Junior high school was called off due to rain
06/06/2006: First Coaching Session at Miwa Primary School (2006~7 Scholar Year):
On June 6th, 2006, it was back to Miwa Primary School Cricket Club and their leader Mrs. Kazuko NISHIDA. But with a little difference from last year:
Another Member of the Shizuoka Kytes Cricket Club, namely Lalith “Larry” Prelis had joined his teammate Robert-Gilles Martineau in this first session of the 2006~7 scholar year.
20 children have entered the official School Cricket Club (out of a total of 100 pupils) hailing from the 4th, 5th, and 6th Grades. The 6th Grades were all Members last year, which came very handy when demonstrating for younger kids.
As Larry will take over in future sessions when R-G. is busy with another school, he had come to learn for himself how to deal with Japanese kids. He confided later it was quite a job as everything had to be taught from basics, whereas in his native Sri Lanka, coaches only had to check and correct kids’ technique already acquired in a Cricket culture. But he thought it was good fun and good learning at the same time.
For this first session we went through throwing and fielding basics before ending up with some batting the kids were obviously waiting for. Larry will do the same next week, and from the third session we shall start mini games.
The Headmaster and new Vice-Headmaster made a point to visit the Club to encourage their kids. Most of the coaching was conducted in English with occasional help from Mrs. Nishida.
After the practice, both coaches went to the ground for a couple of hours mowing the grass for the next week end game.
On the 30th of May 2006 I conducted the first session of the new Shizuhata Naka Primary School Cricket Club.
The session had previously been scheduled for June 6th, but had to be brought forward to accommodate other activities.
I left the office at 12:40 and managed to cycle to the school in 40 (instead of 75 last time) minutes, giving myself plenty of time for preparations.
The school had already done some good propaganda, as a welcome sign both in English and Japanese was waiting for me at the entrance.
Today was to be a shortened session (60 minutes compared to 90 from next time) held indoors.
18 kids from 4th, 5th and 6th grade took part. Although a bit disorderly at times, they were really keen and enthusiastic.
Some of them had already been playing early with me before the actual start of the session as they could not wait.
I started with different throws (direct, one-bound, round arm and real bowling action). As they had picked up the mechanics quite easily I proceeded at once to bowling to a batsman. I had to point out a few times that batsmen can hit anywhere they please and demonstrated the advantages of pulling, cutting and sweeping. They seemed to enjoy themselves, one batsman even hitting Mrs. Jitsuishi in the process!
I concluded the session with basic fielding practice, putting special emphasis on bringing body and legs down to block ground balls.
Before finishing the session, each kid was handed a personal copy introducing the game and its rules in Japanese with illustrations and graphics to study until the next session. They were told that on June the 13th, they would have more practice before real game practice outside. The kids who have opted for the course, which is not only a school club but also part of their curriculum as an international studies class, have shown a great willingness to learn the game and take advantage of the extra exposure to the English language and a new culture.
On Tuesday June 6th, another member of the Shizuoka Kytes CC, namely Lalith Prelis (call him “Larry”) will join me for the first cricket practice at Miwa Primary School, where he will coach in my place in the future when sessions coincide at different venues!
To be continued.
New Primary School Cricket Club!
20/12/2005: More pictures of September 25th Kids Cricket Day sent by Chikae Harrington!
06/12/2005: Mark Steward teaches Cricket at Tenma-cho Primary School!:
Tuesday, 6th December, 2005
Tenma Elementary School, Shizuoka
City, implements a relatively English intensive curriculum. As part of
this programme, three native speaking assistant language teachers (ALTs)
from the Shizuoka City Board of Education attend the school for one day
of each month. In addition, the school
As one of the visiting ALTs, I explained during my introductory classes that cricket was my favourite sport, and was popular in many English-speaking countries. I was surprised to see that many of the students were familiar with the sport and that during a recent exchange between the two schools, Kings Park has donated a Kanga Cricket set as a goodwill gesture to Tenma elementary school, In addition, they had also given them a basic introduction to the principles of the game. When I received the lesson plans for my fourth monthly visit, I was delighted to see that 30 minutes of two of the fifth year lessons were set aside for Kanga Cricket. Although the outline was vague, it was encouraging to see that the school was keen to use the enjoyment of cricket as a cultural activity.
The classes themselves took place
in the school gymnasium. After a short language-based warm up the class
was divided into two teams of between around twelve or thirteen students.
At this point I was still unsure as to the extent of their understanding
of the game, and was expecting a fairly
Although the actual cricket playing lasted under half an hour, it was clear that the students were focused and interested, especially in the second class when I was more familiar with what they already knew about the structure of the game. The keenness with which many of the students devoted themselves to the act of fielding was extremely encouraging, and I? hopeful that, given the opportunity, many of them would like to learn more about the various skills involved in the game of cricket.
In the teachers meeting that was held in the afternoon after the classes, I was able to elaborate a little further about the activities of the Shizuoka Kytes Cricket Club, as well as the efforts made By Robert Gilles Martineau to garner stimulate interest in the sport in other elementary schools in the Prefecture. I have passed on Robert? details to the teacher in charge of the English department, who I believe sees the value of the sport both for as a recreational and cultural activity. While it is premature to predict that they will want to take steps to introduce cricket as an official school activity, I feel that the interest is established, and I hope that they will be receptive to voluntary offers to cultivate interest in the game.
More photos HERE>>
SBS TV airs their report on Shizuoka Crciket!
SBS TV visits Miwa Primary School for report!
youth programme cited on the ICC-EAP Website:
Latest Report on
September 25th: Youth CricKet Day at the Abe River Ground
At the same time 30 students from the Nakamura Gakuen Vocational University visited the ground to be acquainted to cricket as part of their curicculum. That provided plenty of work all day for Patrick Harrington, Benjamin Wooler, Joel Chamberlain, Kieran File and Robert-Gilles Martineau from the Shizuoka Kytes C.C. Unfortunately Captain Neil Harrison could not join the fun as he was away on umpiring duty at the ICC-EAP Tournament in Vanuatu.
Apart of constant practice with the big lads and ladies, we organized the kids into 2 sessions of a good hour each. They were few but keep on asking for more.
At one point we saw a kid from the neighbouring field where a Community Sports Day was being held approach and ask us in English if he could join the fun!
We soon found out that Tomomasa (Nicknamed "Tomo"...) Atsumi had just come back from one year spent in and English boarding school where he had chosen cricket as his mandatory sport subject.
We gave him a ball and asked if he would bowl a few. After the first ball, we knew we had made the find of the day and Kieran spent the next two full hours coaching him (in English!). I personally met his parents and discovered he was living near to the ground and that his mother taught at a neibouring Primary School (another find!). I took his contacts and asked permission to invite him on a regular basis. I must say that his mother was more than amenable!
A well-spent day in the end. Mrs. Nishida who was on hand all day promised me to help devise a programme for such Days on a regular basis, but that will be for the next report.
Meanwhile SBS TV, an important regional TV Channel was reporting on our activities all day (I suspect that they were taking a day out at the same time, as they clearly enjoying the sedate pace!), talking to the kids and coaches, as well as taking shots of the proper game. They shall come again in November at Miwa Primary School to shoot the second part of the (short) reportage to appear on TV in November.
October 2nd: The members of the Shizuoka Kytes C.C. having had their game postponed due to KCL priorities were practising on the adjacent ground when they had the surprise to see Tomo coming along with his mother to join the practice. I was umpiring at the time, but the lads told me he thoroughly enjoyed himself. Captain neil had a chat with his mother and gave the kid his grown up son's bat to Tomo who could not believe it!
October 9th: KCL Division 2 Semi-Final.
June 28th, 2005
July 5th, 2005
On July 3rd, we had a long talk with Peter De Boeck, from the Belgium Cricket Federation, who paid us a visit here in Shizuoka and helped umpire one of our games (see related article at http://japan-cricket.com/ ). He said that when they visited primary schools they made a point of donationg Kwik Crciket Kits. We think this is a good hint for the JCA who is going to receive money from the ICC now that they are Associate members! As for the kits themselves, we use British-made Kwik Crciket kits as they come in a nice sturdy and practical bag with litterature. The kits "available" in Japan, cheap as they are, come in bits and pieces and are of dubious design. The Japanese being very finnicky by nature ought to be offered a better image and kit when first introduced to the game!
Miwa Primary School Cricket Club Coaching Session:
Miwa Primary School Cricket Club Coaching Session:
07/06/2005: Miwa Primary School Cricket Club Coaching Session:
The kids entered the gymnasium at 15:00 sharp. The presence of two teachers, including Mrs. Kazuko Nishida, the lady who made this venture possible, greatly helped control the energetic and enthusiastic boys and girls.
A Japanese-translated Kanga-Kwik Cricket pamphlet was handed to every kid for personal home study by Mrs. Nishida and the session started in earnest.
Due to school-related time limits (the session finished at 16:15), R-G. Martineau kept to basics only.
All instructions were conducted in English with occasional help from the Teachers. Voice, whistle and gestures were used simultaneously for quick comprehension (e.g. the order "listen!" was accompanied by the instructor's gesture of a finger pointing at his ear)
Warming-ups consisted of throws and later bowling (under arm, side arm and over arm; no bound, one bound, direct hits at the stumps). Before bowling at batsmen (batswomen), the instructor showed the proper ball hold and arm action.
We had time for each kid to receive 6 balls at the bats and bowling 6 each, interspersing the action with plenty of explanations.
The kids seemed to enjoy themselves greatly and sometimes had to be restrained into easy order. Some kids have already understood bowling, especially girls who are not
hampered by baseball habits. Batting should easily pick up.
Very encouraging start. The next session will be held under R-G. Martineau's direction on Tuesday June 14th.
September 25th, Sunday, has already been set apart for a full-day cricket coaching and game under the supervision of the Shizuoka Kytes CC Members at the Shizuoka Kytes C.C. ground. Local newspaper and television will be present to cover the event.
Meanwhile kids will have further opportunity to familiarize themselves with the game during physical education classes where cricket is now part of the curriculum. The kids are also encouraged to play outside in their free time.
Shizuoka Kytes C.C. will investigate other schools now that they have a reference to fall upon.