First-ever cricket match played between two official Primary Schools Cricket Clubs
Shizuoka City, Abe River Yoi-Ichi Park
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.
The people in charge decided to hold the official game first. It was agreed to play an 11-over innings with 12 batsmen for each team, the overs being all bowled by different players with one designated wicket-keeper.
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).
To be continued.
Robert-Gilles Martineau

Comments from Warren Daley, Tokyo British Embassy C.C.: 
Remember when I was nine or so that the local basketball team visited, introduced their sport and we raffled off tickets to see them play.  I won a ticket and was impressed by the game (problem was that at age 9 a basketball was too big and heavy).  Don't think there is much to gain in you raffling tickets to see Kytes play cricket, but wonder if a school trip to a Japan National Team game at Fuji would be of interest.  The team could no doubt do with some supporters. 
I suspect Kytes may have an even stronger team, and possible a women's team, in a few years if you keep this up! 

Cricket demonstrattion held in Tachibana Elementary School, Shizuoka Prefecture, for new School Club! 

On October 3rd, Robert-Gilles Martineau in company of Lalith Prelis, both members of the Shizuka Kytes CC visited Peter Timmings, resident English teacher in Tachibana Elementary School. Peter, from Yorkshire, England, upon being contacted by Robert-Giles Martineau through a student they are both teaching had conducted talks with Headmaster Shigeki Kobayashi who enthusiastically agreed that a Cricket Club would be a welcome addition to his School which has a very strong English Programme on its curricullum. 
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. 

Ken-Ichi Matsumura reports on Youth Cricket Development in Fuji and Chiba Cities: 

The RCA (Recreation Cricket Association) is selling Youth Cricket equipment and conducting coaching sessions on behalf of the NPO Japan Cricket Association. 
The following report relates their activities in September 2006. 

12th: Chiba City, Moga Kinro Shimin Plaza Hall 
16 mainly 5th Graders, all boys, joined our first session after the summer holidays. True to tell, all that energy was a bit difficult to harness within safe limits! 

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 

Ken-Ichi Matsumura 
Recreation Cricket Association 

06/06/2006: First Coaching Session at Miwa Primary School (2006~7 Scholar Year):  

Robert-Gilles Martineau and Lalith Prelith led the first Coaching session for the Cricket Club at Miwa Primary School already in their second 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. 

First Session at Shizuhata Naka primary School, Shizuoka City 

Ladies and Gentlemen! 
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. 
Robert-Gilles Martineau 

03/05/2006: New Primary School Cricket Club! 
Shizuhata Naka primary School, Shizuoka City 
Yesterday afternoon I visited Shizuhata Naka primary School in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture. It is a small establishment by Japanese standards, about a total of 100 kids from 1st to 6th grade. It is quite isolated almost up in the mountains along the Abe River75 minutes by bicycle from my work place (good exercise, I can tell you!). 
I had met Mrs. Kimiko Jitsuishi, teacher in charge of activities in February thanks to Mrs. Kazuko Nishida who helps me with cricket at Miwa Primary School on the other side of the River.  
Mrs. Jitsuishi ( a tennis playerduring her leisure time) introduced me to Headmistress Hatsue Mori, a very active lady, always looking for new acitivities for her children. The teachers at the school struck me as very dedicated, active and warm, which cannot be said of some at schools deep in the city! 
A programme of 10 sessions were agreed for this scholar year on June 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, July 18th, October 17th, 24th, November 21st, December 12th and January 23rd. 
Each session will be held from 13:45 for a duration of 90 minutes, that is as a formal elective class and club for 17 kids (5th and 6th Grade) who have registered for the course, a different pattern from Miwa which holds their club activities after 15:00. All courses will be exclusively held in English. 
I will use the club equipment at first until the school has imported their own through official channels as they are a public school. 
I will encourage the school to make use of their own equipment later during physical education classes as they have good indoors and outdoors facilities. Actually passers-by will be able to watch the kids playing! 
To be continued 
May 3rd, 2006 
Robert-Gilles Martineau 

20/12/2005: More pictures of September 25th Kids Cricket Day sent by Chikae Harrington! 

See all pictures in larger size HERE>>

06/12/2005: Mark Steward teaches Cricket at Tenma-cho Primary School!: 

Mark Steward writes: 
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  
maintains a sister-school relationship with Kings Park Elementary School in Australia. It is a solid programme that has fostered a grasp of English beyond most other Japanese students of equivalent elementary school age. 

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  
random, baseball-influenced performance. However, again I was pleasantly surprised to see the students, with only minimal guidance, competently erect the stumps and take up both fielding positions and batting stances. They were familiar with the basics of bowling and running between the wickets, and despite some confusion as to run-outs, were in a position to conduct a relatively coherent game (see attached photos). 

The version of the game we played was a tipperty-run game, with batsmen swapping with their team-mates either when their wicket fell or when they had been at the wicket for long enough to have had the opportunity to play a couple of shots. After the fall of three wickets, the fielding and batting sides rotated. I? afraid to say that my personal experience of coaching youngsters is very limited, and there was little time to devote to technique. However, by the end of the session the students were aware of some of the basic technicalities, for example, the requirement that the bowler? arm be kept straight during delivery. I was actually very impressed with one of the smaller girls who bowled her spell with a pace and accuracy that has sadly deserted me from time to time! 

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. 

Mark Steward 
Assistant Language Teacher 
Shizuoka City Board of Education 

Shizuoka Youth Cricket Development: 

Robert-Gilles initially thought of doing some ground work on that day when kids from Eiwa Primary school turned up. Instead he spent 4 hours coaching! 
More photos HERE>> 

15/11/2005: SBS TV airs their report on Shizuoka Crciket! 
Almost 5 minutes of air time were devoted to Cricket in shizuoka and Miwa primary School. A copy each has been sent to the EAP ICC in Australia and the JCA. For more copies, contact Robert-Gilles Martineau! 

08/11/2005: SBS TV visits Miwa Primary School for report! 
As promised, the SBS TV crew, led by Mr. Yoshimoto, came to Miwa Primary School on Tuesday to shoot a report on the School Cricket Club. Loads of fun. Mr. Yoshimoto, who must be the most knowledgeable Japanese reporter when it comes to Cricket (he covered the EAP ICC Tournament in Fuji in May 2004) informed us the report would be on air on November 15th during the evening news! 

15/10/2005: Shizuoka Cricket youth programme cited on the ICC-EAP Website: 
Russell James of the ICC East Asia Pacific Development has posted us on the ICC-EAP Website: 
For more details check HERE>> 

11/10/2005: Latest Report on children's activities 
Children's programme steadily expanding. 

Tomomasa "Tomo" Atsumi practising his batting 
under R-G. M'S eyes
This is a compilation of recent efforts by the Shizuoka Kytes Cricket Club to establish a Cricket Youth Programme in our region: 

September 25th: Youth CricKet Day at the Abe River Ground 

The day had originally been set for the benefit of Primary School kids, but it such happened that only a dozen kids turned up because all kinds of Community Sports days were held all over the City (bad timing!) and no further than the next ground (which proved a disguised blessing in the end!)! 
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. 
The Kytes having destroyed their opponents in less than 2 hours (we are in Division 1 next year!) decide to use all that time made available practising. It was then than Tomo proved once for all he would stay with us when he appeared bringing a friend along called Kohei Mochizuki (nicknamed "Mochi"). Kieran almost automatically ran to them and spent a good hour coaching them to be later helped by RGM after he had finished his scoring and other duties. We gave the boys one ball each and suggested that they practised at their own school ground and invite more friends on next Sunday. 
As you can little things start big ones! 

Mrs. Nishida & Otsuka of Miwa Primary School
05/07/2005: Miwa Primary School Cricket Club Coaching Session: 
The fourth practice session for the Miwa Primary School Cricket Club (i.e. officially endorsed extracurricular activity) was held on under the direction of Robert-Gilles Martineau, member of the Shizuoka Kytes Cricket Club. 

June 28th, 2005 
Robert-Gilles Martineau, not being available, Mrs. Kazujo Nishida conducted the Coaching Session by herself following instructions handed to her the preceding saturday. The first half concentrated on batting and bowling indoors, regardless of the results with the accent on bowler/batsman face-off. She spent the second half explaining the fine points of the real game. Quite a few questions were asked, as the kids are impatient to start playing a real game. 

July 5th, 2005 
Robert-Gilles Martineau came a bit earlier to prepare a playing area on the School ground. A fortyby 60 metres area was already avalaible marked by ropes. After checking that the area was safe, he drew with chalk provided by the school a pitch with stumps placed at 16 metres from each other and batting creases marked one metre ahead. Return creases were also marked to define balls to be accepted as "fair" or to be "replayed". Finally the skin-ground pitch was raked and pebbles taken away to provide with a flat hard surface (see pic). 
We then proceeded with a real game, a pair game, actually. All performances were written down on original scoresheets. Not all kids could have a turn at bat or ball, but they were told wthey would all eventually have their go. Mrs. Kazuko Nishida kept all the record and was provided with more scoresheets. The day was very hot and sultry and kids showed various degrees of concentration. Apparently, although their catching and fielding is way above average, they have not caught the niceties of field-placing yet. 
Before closing the session, R-G. made a point to explain the manners and respect expected from all corners when playing cricket and distributed Shizuoka Kytes C.C. stickers to every kid. That little attention seemed to please them as it identified them to a bigger picture. 
The summer break will start next week. Therefore the next session will take place probably on the 13th of September.The Kytes Cricket Club also left a set for very small kids on loan to be used by first graders. 

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! 

21/06/2005: Miwa Primary School Cricket Club Coaching Session: 
The third practice session for the Miwa Primary School Cricket Club (i.e. officially endorsed extracurricular activity) was held on Tuesday June 21st under the direction of Robert-Gilles Martineau, member of the Shizuoka Kytes Cricket Club. 
On a very sultry day (the rainy season has started), the 24 members of the Club were all smiles as usual when they entered the large school gymnasium. The area had been prepared for a straightaway start after the usual greetings. 
Four sets of stumps had been placed at equal distance from each other. The drill was designed as follows: 
One wicket-keeper behind the stumps. One batsman standing on a crease clearly marked on the the floor with one line extending forward from the centre of the wicket. One "tosser" standing about six metres away backed up by a "receiver" and two "retrievers" way back. 
The tosser was requested to bowl five balls underhand with one bounce to the batsman. The batsman was instructed to hit forward drives only. After every five balls, the wicket-keeper took the place of the batsman, the batsman became a retriever, the receiver a new tosser and a retriever the new receiver and so on for thirty minutes. Mrs. Nishida and R-G. Martineau moved among the kids dispensing advice and encouragement. We had then the kids sit down to explain again the batting grip and the forward drive, insisting on the fact that if they could master that particular stroke they would find batting an easy and entertaining propostion. 
Next, before starting the bowling/batting drill in earnest, R-G. Martineau showed and explained the bowler's basic grip with the index and middle fingers along the seam and then the basic action. A good dozen balls were bowled by the instructor to impress the action into the kids' heads. As a diversion, R-G. Martineau showed what various spins can do. The kids seem to be especially interested in the technique of leg spin. 
We divided the 24 kids into the same four groups (we keep working with identical groups as Japanese kids are more comfortable practising with the same individuals. Real games will be a different story, though). 
One wicket-keeper, one batsman and four bowlers bowling real overarm over the wicket (wickets were placed 12~13 metres apart). Once again the batsman was requested to forward drive whenever possible. The order was changed every four balls and the drill lasted a good thirty minutes. We had to bring it to an end eventually to the disappointment of some of the kids. 
I was greatly surprised to find out that four sixth grader girls practising in the same goup were all bowling beyond my expectations (they were also batting pretty well!). They had already picked up the fact that running up at a slant will greatly help them maintain a straight line to the stumps. the loop was nearly perfect and the length more than correct. The boy in their group, who was actually very good at batting, had real difficulty to pick hem up. 
To finish the session, I asked the four of them to bowl at me in front of all the other kids. The kids saw defense batting for the first time and Mrs Nishida explained why I was doing such a demonstration. The balls bowled at me were very good indeed. Here are four kids who will have to be followed beyond Primary School. Plenty of work for the Kytes C.C. I can see we shall have to put our heads together as to how we can create some kind of academy and enlarge the club! 

14/06/2005: Miwa Primary School Cricket Club Coaching Session: 
The second practice session for the Miwa Primary School Cricket Club (i.e.officially endorsed extracurricular activity) was held on Tuesday June 14th under the direction of Robert-Gilles Martineau, member of the Shizuoka Kytes Cricket Club. 
Skilled fielding throws made up for the first part of the practice: 
-A designated batsman (batswoman/batschild) wa designated to hit balls along the ground from in front of a wicket for a fielder to stop, catch and throw directly to a wicket-keeper standing behind the stumps. The wicket-keeper was instructed to catch the balls with two hands. The batsman and the wicket-keeper were then changed to allow all participants to bat twice at the members of his/her respective group. 
-The same was then organized with the batsman hitting in the ball in the air for the fielder to catch with both hands and throw to the wicket-keeper. 
The second part solely consisted of batting coaching, starting with explanations on the proper grip, and the forward drive. The session was concluded with a demonstration of all the batting hits possible: drive, cut, pull, push, sweep and flick off the legs. 
The children were particularly excited at the prospect that they could hit the ball everywhere on a ground. 
Although it is not strictly part of the Kanga/Kwik Cricket Programmes, it was felt that the notion of 4's and 6's greatly appealed to the kids and would then be included in proper games. 
The kids also seemed to have done their homework and were eager to start real games. 
This will be probably started during the 4th session, as the 3rd session will concentrate on bowling skills. 

07/06/2005: Miwa Primary School Cricket Club Coaching Session: 

The first practice session for the Miwa Primary School Cricket Club (i.e.officially endorsed extracurricular activity) was held on Tuesday June 7th under the direction of Robert-Gilles Martineau, member of the Shizuoka Kytes Cricket Club. The School is located across the Abe River from the Shizuoka Kytes CC ground. It is a comparatively small establishment looking after roughly 130 Children from 1st grade (1st Form) to 6th Grade (6th Form). Such activities at national schools are limited by the Japanese Board of Education to the 5th and 6th Grades. 24 kids registered with the activity and attended the first session. They represent half of the schoolchildren in those two grades with a 55/45% ratio in favour of girls. R-G. Martineau arrived at the school at 14:30 and helped with the preparations including safety precautions inside the vast indoors gymnasium (sessions will be held on the outdoors ground once the kids have assimilated the rules of real games to be conducted in the short future). 
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. 
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