September 23, 2015
On any given day, the kids at Cora Rice Elementary School in Landover, Maryland usually have American football on their minds as most of them pass by the massive Washington Redskins stadium on their way to school. But not this day. This day the older kids were learning a new sport. Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, but many of the kids at Cora Rice never heard of the sport before. Coach Sham Chotoo of the Bowie Boys and Girls Club (BBGC) and the Maryland Youth Cricket Association (MYCA) was invited there to do cricket demonstrations with the kids.
The invitation came from Mrs. Bernadette Charles, Cora Rice’s PE teacher. Mrs. Charles grew up playing cricket on the beautiful island of Tobago in the Caribbean. She really enjoyed playing cricket and wanted her students have the opportunity to enjoy the sport as she did. On August 19, Mrs Charles attended a cricket session at the PGCPS Professional Day event for PE teachers and was glad to find out about the school cricket program from Coach Sham. Mrs. Charles could not wait to get cricket started at Cora Rice.
After Coach Sham did the cricket demonstrations with the kids, Mrs. Charles distributed flyers to her students as many of them were eager to join the cricket team. Mrs. Charles also invited Coach Sham to back-to-school night to do cricket demonstrations for parents. Many parents were intrigued by the game and immediately signed-up their kids for the Cora Rice Cricket Team.
After just one week in September, Cora Rice already has 20 kids registered to play cricket in the Bowie Elementary School Teams (BEST) Cricket League, which will kick off its 3rd season on March 14, 2016. The cricket team will be coached by Mrs. Charles. There is a good mix of kids from 3rd grade to 6th grade. These kids are making history by being the first set of kids from Cora Rice to participate in the first elementary school cricket league in the USA.
With cricket excitement in the air, Mrs. Charles took advantage of the beautiful fall weather and had her first practice on September 17 after school from 3:00pm-5:00pm. Thirteen kids attended this first practice, which was led by Coach Sham. First the kids did warm-ups and stretches to loosen their muscles. Next they did catching and fielding drills. Coach Sham then bowled while all the kids took turns batting. The practice ended with a scrimmage. Two captains were selected, and they took turns selecting players. A coin toss was done to determine which team bats first. Mrs. Charles had her first glimpse of her players’ skill level, and she was very pleased with what she saw. It was just unbelievable how much the kids learned after one session.
The most important thing was that everyone had fun. Third grader Michaela Parker could not stop telling her mom how much she enjoyed herself. Another 3rd grader, Alindwa Kamala, had to tell her mom about “runs n stuff."
So BEST Cricket League, here comes the Cora Rice Cricket Team!