Looking at Sixth Form options? Want to …
Play professional cricket, but don’t want to miss out on qualifications along the way?
Build a career in cricket coaching, sports science, psychology, management or teaching?
Go into a sports related business using your cricket and entrepreneurial skills?
Or simply want to develop your cricket skills whilst getting your academic qualifications?
Working in partnership with Sussex Cricket, the Aldridge Cricket Academy (ACA) gives male and female cricketers the chance to develop sporting talent and academic qualifications together, rather than having to choose between the two.
Students at the Aldridge Cricket Academy combine their sixth form studies at either Brighton or Portslade Aldridge Community Academies with an intensive cricket development programme. Now in the third year it’s a unique programme for both boys and girls in the state sector locally. In February 2015 students undertook their first tour, to South Africa. ACA student Tara Norris, who participated in the England Woman’s U-19 pace bowling camp in South Africa just before this tour, said “I learnt to make the most of every opportunity and to be pushed outside my comfort zone as great things happened when I did this.”
The squad toured Dubai in February 2017 and the next tour, to Sri Lanka, is being planned for 2019.
ACA student Matt Graves, who completed his studies at the academy in July 2018, posted on Twitter about his experience with the ACA: “A big thank you to the the coaches and staff at the at the Aldridge Cricket Academy for the most amazing two years. Not only am I a better cricketer but I’m also a better person. it’s a fantastic programme with some amazing people. Thank you .”
In September 2015 work commenced on the new Cricket Centre and Indoor School at Brighton Academy’s Falmer Campus. The Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre, which features three lanes of cricket nets with full run ups and a gym for strength and conditioning, was opened by former England Captain Charlotte Edwards in June 2016. In November 2017 an MCC Foundation Hub was launched at the Cricket Centre.
Following on from Tara Norris’ selection in 2016 Will Sheffield became the first boy from the Aldridge Cricket Academy to be accepted to Sussex County Cricket’s Academy in 2017, and was selected for the first team squad for the opening fixture in 2018. In April 2019 Will signed professional forms with Sussex.
In July 2018 former ACA student Liam O’Brien was selected and starred for England in the Vitality IT20 Physical Disability Tri-Series campaign, scoring 60 and taking 2-31 with the ball on debut v. Pakistan.