The Southern New South Wales town of Yass will this week host the largest Woolworths Cricket Blast School Cup in the state.
On Tuesday, 680 children from Years 3 to 6 are expected to attend Walker Park, Yass, for the community cricket event that encourages participation above all else.
Sixty-eight teams representing local primary schools within Southern Inland NSW will play four round-robin matches of eight players per side. Each team face eight overs on a reduced pitch and field.
The School Cup builds on the very successful Sydney Thunder Regional Tour, part of the Cricket NSW Country Blitz in early September, when seamer Rene Farrell and teenage sensation Ollie Davies visited the region.
Cricket NSW Cricket Manager for Southern Inland NSW, Michael Minns said the carnival was twice as big as any other School Cup in the area.
“The next biggest that I’m running for example, is about 350,” said Minns.
“Virtually all of the year 3-6 kids, from nearly every school in the region, will be in attendance.
“When we started organising it, I realised pretty early in the piece that it was going to be a large day. It just kept evolving.
“We’ll have a couple of promotions throughout the day, activities like high catching competitions, with a few giveaways from the Sydney Thunder and Woolworths”.
Given the registrations, the event is also an opportunity to promote the benefits of the NSW Government’s Active Kids Voucher for junior cricketers throughout the region, valued at $100.
From July this year, families can now access two separate vouchers for a school-enrolled child in the calendar year.
“Registration costs to play cricket in Yass are under the value of an active kids voucher anyway, so essentially we’re giving all the kids in Yass the opportunity to play cricket for free this year which I think is something a lot of sports cannot offer,” said Minns.
Cricket NSW Area Manager for Southern NSW and the ACT, Martin Gleeson, concurred.
“An important part of the School Cup gala days is the engagement of local clubs, the Yass District Cricket Association and local club representatives from the area to encourage registrations for the coming season,” said Gleeson.
“A key part of the successful delivery of the day is that we will have 70 students from Yass High School who will act as umpires and officials for the games after attending a training session as part of the recent Country Blitz player visit to the area.”