December 8, 2011
Prashanth Nair (Center left) presents cricket sets to Principal Ericka Wala on behalf of USYCA and Atlantis CC,
witnessed by PE teachers Anthony Briggs, Darrin Pearson, Atlantis' coach Keith Aaron, and scholars of the Academy.
Received from the Atlantis Cricket Club:
New York, December 7, 2011 - Located just off the Rockaway Beach ocean front community in Rockaway Park Queens, NY, the Peninsula Preparatory Academy, a New York City Charter School today introduced cricket as an alternative sport to some of its 5th Grade scholars, with help from the United States Youth Cricket Association (USYCA) and Atlantis Cricket Club - NY.
The collaborative effort was seen by Mr. John Aaron, former USA Cricket Executive Secretary, as an opportunity to introduce the sport to the K-5 school. It's the first initiative of its kind in the New York area, and John Aaron who served as Atlantis' president for ten years, is an ardent supporter of youth cricket. He encouraged his club Atlantis to make a monetary contribution to USYCA, and along with some of his own funds was able to secure two sets of cricket equipment for the up and coming New York City Charter School.
John Aaron contacted Peninsula's Principal Ms. Ericka Wala and she floated the idea past her Physical Education instructors Mr. Darrin Pearson and Mr. Anthony Briggs, both of whom were aware of cricket but had no idea of how the sport is played, so along with the trio of Atlantis' coach Keith Aaron, a former captain of Guyana's National youth team, Atlantis' skipper and USA National Under-19 player Prashanth Nair, and John Aaron, cricket was today introduced to Peninsula's two PE instructors and ten of the academy's scholars in the school's gymnasium.
The response from the co-ed scholars was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and they earned bragging rights over their fellow scholars for having been the first ones introduced to the sport at the school, as well as their school being the first in New York City to embrace the program, outside of the established Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) high school program, now in its fourth year.
"Introducing cricket to such young scholars, many of whom were born in the US, augurs well for the growth of the sport in the USA," said John Aaron, adding, "...since these scholars will already be familiar with the sport by the time they enter New York City high schools. It is a step in the right direction."
A beaming Principal Wala accepted the cricket sets on behalf of the Academy, and courtesy of USYCA and Atlantis, from the latter's youngest-ever skipper Prashanth Nair, 18. The 45-year old Atlantis Cricket Club has pledged to provide shadow coaching for the Academy's Physical Education instructors in helping to establish the sport as part of Peninsula Preparatory Academy's PE program.
The building blocks for the 350 scholars at the Peninsula Preparatory Academy Charter School are, pride, perseverance, achievement, character and success; in many ways not unlike those of the sport of cricket, and to borrow from the Academy's motto: The future (of cricket) is bright!
Atlantis' coach Keith Aaron explains the rudiments of cricket to scholars and PE staff.
Future USA National Women's player?
Practicing eye and hand coordination.
Reaching for contact under the watchful eyes of coach Keith Aaron.
Scholars and cricket personnel pose with cricket gear after introductory session.