This week saw two new primary school finals days delivered in Kent, with 200 children experiencing the pride and pressure of representing their school alongside the best in the county
Rapid Fire was first trialled in Ashford for Key Stage 1 in 2015 and has since grown in popularity year on year. In 2018, more than 20 festivals ran around the county both indoors and outdoors, one of the highlights being when both The Stour Centre (Ashford) and Swallows Leisure Centre (Swale) opened their doors to 16 local schools each.
Local festivals ran at both schools and cricket clubs during April, May and June - with the winners of these being invited to The Spitfire Ground to take past in the inaugral finals day.
Each school had a row reserved for them within the Underwood Knott stand for the day and saw their school names displayed on the big screen that was installed at The Spitfire Ground in 2017.
The overall winners of the day were Hildenoaks from Tonbridge, with Lady Joanna Thornhills (Ashford) coming a close second.
With the Year 5 and 6 Kwik Cricket events well established in all corners of the county and the aforementioned Rapid Fire, the decision to insert a mirror competition for Year 3 and 4 was a simple one. If successful, there would then be a clear and consistent pathway for children of all ages within primary school. This would not be possible without the ongoing support and passion of Chance to Shine, a charity who work with Kent Cricket throughout the year to shape and deliver their schools programme.
The importance of this programme has been summed up by Hamstreet Primary School who recognised that the Chance to Shine programme 'was particularly important for some children who were able to access competitive sport for the first time'.
Hosts of the Year 3 and 4 event were Lordswood Cricket Club, where teams played in group stages throughout the morning to decide who would proceed after lunch to play for the trophy. The four teams who made it into the last stages of the day were Upton (Broadstairs) Claremont (Tunbridge Wells) Highfield (Bromley) Boughton (Swale). In the end, the winners were clear as Highfield remained unbeaten throughout the day, with Upton finishing in second place.
Magical Moment medals were nominated throughout the day by teachers when brilliance unfolded! Some of the winning moments included:
- A caught and bowled between shoulder and cheek
- Excellent motivation of team mates
- A three wicket maiden
Looking forward to the 2018/19 academic year, it is tremendously exciting to think about the potential growth of both of these events. With the ultimate aim for them to mirror the long standing Year 5 & 6 Kwik Cricket events in terms of participation.
Kent Cricket would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to all of the schools that took part throughout the year and the schools, clubs and venues which have hosted them.