Cricket registrations alarm officials

CLARENCE Valley Junior Cricket Association officials are in panic mode after an "alarming" drop in registrations for the coming season, which begins this weekend.

Brendan Palmer, who wears many hats in the local Junior Cricket ranks, believes the junior competition could be a lot weaker this year, with a number of teams struggling to scratch up the required players.

Palmer is the local Cricket NSW promotions officer and the Milo In2Cricket Co-ordinator and is concerned that the lack of registrations might be indicative of a larger trend.

"There have been two major areas of concern with the drop of junior numbers; from 8-10 year olds, and then 14-15 year olds," Palmer said.

"This is especially evident this year with only five teams nominated in the under 16's age division, which is a combination of Clarence and Lower Clarence Cricket Clubs.

"That number is down from seven teams last season."

In an effort to cater for more children to play, the Under 16's and Under 14's competitions were moved to Friday afternoons some years ago, and this has proven popular for parents and players.

The Under 10's and Under 12's competitions are still played on Saturday mornings.

"While there were 20 teams across the board last season, and currently 21 nominated for this season, the numbers of players in those teams are lower," Palmer said.

"A couple of those teams are in real danger of not being able to compete if they cannot find some additional participants."

"There are places available in all four junior age divisions, across all clubs in the association, and I urge parents to get in touch with the association if their children would like to play."

The Clarence representative ranks have also felt the pinch with an early start to the season catching many parents and players off-guard.

"The representative season commences this Sunday, which is quite early in the season, and attendances at trials have been down," Palmer said.

"There are still spots available, and any children interested in playing cricket at a higher level should inform their team coach or manager at their game this weekend."

As well as junior competition cricket commencing this week, Milo In2Cricket commences next week.

"In2Cricket is a wonderful introduction to cricket for boys and girls aged 5-9, and great value for parents," Palmer said.

This year two sessions will be held, the first on Wednesday afternoons at Grafton Public School, from 3:30pm, and the second on Saturday mornings at Rushforth Park, commencing at 9am.

In2Cricket runs for ten weeks, and the children play fun games which promote participation, plus receive coaching from qualified coaches.

With all this happening, the CRJCA has formed a sub-committee to look into starting a girl's competition.

The committee is hoping to arrange a competition for primary school aged girls to run for most of term one next year, to try and encourage and promote girls playing the great game of cricket.

"There is still a lot to be organised, but invitation letters will be taken around to schools in the Grafton area early in the new school term to gauge interest in this venture," Palmer said.

If there are any children interested in having a game of cricket, parents are welcome to contact Brendan Palmer on 6642 8898, and he will be able to provide more information on registering, as well as provide contacts for all clubs in the CRJCA.

As well as junior competition cricket commencing this week, Milo In2Cricket commences next week. In2Cricket is a wonderful introduction to cricket for boys and girls aged 5-9, and great value for parents.

This year two sessions will be held; Wednesday Afternoons at Grafton Public School, from 3:30pm, and Saturday mornings at Rushforth Park, commencing at 9am. In2Cricket runs for 10 weeks, and the children play fun games which promote participation, plus receive coaching from qualified coaches.

With all this happening, The CRJCA has formed a sub-committee to look into starting a girl's competition. The committee is looking to arrange a competition for primary school aged girls to run for most of term 1 next year, to try and encourage and promote girls playing the great game of cricket. There is still a lot to be organised, but invitation letters will be taken around to schools in the Grafton area early in the new school term to gauge interest in this venture.

If there are any interested children looking to have a game of cricket, parents are welcome to contact Brendan Palmer on 6642 8898, and he will be able to provide more information on registering, as well as provide contacts for all clubs in the CRJCA.



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