Twenty-five students from Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies have embarked on an ambitious appeal to raise funds for a Cricket Tour to Cape Town, South Africa in February 2015.
Students from the Aldridge Cricket Academy (ACA) combine their A level studies with an intensive cricket development programme, with the support of the Sussex Cricket Board and Sussex County Cricket Club. Now in its second year it’s a unique programme for both boys and girls in the state sector locally.
The South African tour aims to give the students the chance not only to develop their cricketing skills in a very different environment, but also to coach at a local school in the township of Fisantekraal. The students have formed a Fundraising Committee to finance this and future tours, and have launched their own website. The first major fundraising effort for the tour was a Gala Dinner held at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy in October. The evening saw many big names from Sussex County Cricket Club attend, with former players John Barclay and John Spencer as hosts for the event and Luke Wright as an honoured guest. Luke, who has just been awarded a benefit next year by Sussex CCC, gave an insightful Q&A session after the meal and answered topical questions from the ACA students.
As part of the fundraising challenge the ACA players learned how to serve food and attend to guests, and on the night they played an integral role in the delivery of the Gala Dinner. The dinner raised over £19,000 for the Tour fund and attracted many compliments, with one guest remarking: “‘the students were a huge credit to BACA and PACA and I know they’ll be fantastic ambassadors when they get to South Africa.’
Alexia Walker, the ACA’s Director of Cricket said; “Sport has the ability to bring together people from all walks of life and many different cultures. I firmly believe that the opportunity to tour South Africa will have a profound and lasting impact on every member of our touring party.”
“The determination of the students and organisers of the Gala Dinner to start our fund raising off successfully was incredible, and we would like to thank everyone who gave so generously.”
The ACA students are continuing their fund raising over the coming months, and are currently developing a Tour Brochure including advertising from local business. Organisations interested in getting involved can contact Alexia Walker via firstname.lastname@example.org