Neil Davies wants to talk junior cricket

NEWLY appointed Ballarat Cricket Association junior development officer Neil Davies wants to talk more with clubs.

Davies said clubs, at the forefront of junior sport, would be best placed to determine how to get more youngsters involved in the game.

He wants to get started planning now, rather than wait for the traditional off-season planning period, while cricket is at its peak.

Juniors that are going to play cricket this summer are already playing - and close to finals - but it is about finding the best ways to encourage more to play

"We're right in the middle of cricket season and, while the Aussies have given the Poms a bit of a thrashing, everyone is talking what a good thing cricket is," Davies said.

"Communication with clubs is important, knowing what they need and want to have from the association.

"We're looking at different forms of cricket and what might work best for juniors and we want to promote the game more in the community."

Davies said participation rates were dropping with increased choice in summer sport and increased school and family commitments for juniors.

He was keen to start sorting out more ways to counter this now.

Davies' involvement in junior cricket stretches back more than 40 years, including representative cricket, and has built a career as a chiropractor treating children and now continues his work as chief executive officer of Kiro Kids.

Cricket, he said, was a sport you could enjoy playing for 30-odd years - sometimes much longer and had great, positive social spin-offs.

Davies said there was a strong established structure in the BCA for juniors of any ability or age to pick up and learn the game.

There were clear pathways for talented juniors too, via representative programs, to district and state cricket as highlighted by former East Ballarat junior Matt Short, who this year played international cricket for the Australian under-19s and signed rookie contracts with the Victorian Bushrangers and Melbourne Renegades.

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