On Monday 28th September Sussex fast bowlers Tymal Mills and James Anyon joined students, staff and community members at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) as they marked the beginning of construction of the new cricket centre with the burying of a time capsule.
The Cricket Centre at BACA is a new addition to the Academy’s state-of-the-art sports facilities. Construction of the centre has just begun and is due to be completed in spring 2016.
The centre will be home to the Aldridge Cricket Academy, a unique partnership between Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies and the Sussex Cricket Board, supported by Sussex County Cricket Club, which enables Sixth Form students study for academic qualifications alongside professional cricket development. The Centre will provide students with dedicated training and playing facilities, promoting sporting excellence, enabling local students to develop cricketing talent and promoting and helping to maintain fitness.
This specialist, sector-leading cricket centre will provide:
- three lanes of indoor cricket nets with full run ups
- full service gym for strength and conditioning
- cricket square
The Aldridge Cricket Academy (ACA) has been developed with Sussex County Cricket Club and the Sussex Cricket Board and the centre will be a hub for cricket in Brighton and Hove. As well as being the home for the ACA and used by local primary schools the indoor school will be a base for Sussex Women’s and Girl’s cricket in future. Portslade Cricket Club will use the Centre as its first and second team pitch and it will become the home for cricket in Falmer and the local community.
To mark the occasion the Sussex bowlers joined guests as a time capsule was buried on the site containing ACA memorabilia, along with memories of growing up in the local area collected from members of the community. The memories were collected in spring 2015 by BACA’s year 7 oral historians in partnership with The Keep as part of their ‘History on your Doorstep’ project.
Jim May, Chairman of Sussex County Cricket Club said: “I’m absolutely delighted by the progress of the Aldridge Cricket Academy and that the development of this cricket centre in Falmer is now underway. It’s a significant investment which will bring great benefits to the academies’ students and to the whole of Sussex Cricket.”
Keith Greenfield, Sussex’s Cricket Performance Manager, added: “This is a further part of developing cricket at the Aldridge Community Academy, and it is going to be a fantastic facility to be added to the facilities that are already here for clubs, the local community, and elite cricket.”
“Sussex have been keen to be involved right from the start. There are a few students here who are close to being involved in the top programmes in the Sussex ranks and hopefully that will only improve. We’re also leaders in Women’s and Girls cricket and for them to have a permanent home at the Indoor Centre can only be an advantage.”
Sir Rod Aldridge said: “This facility will be a wonderful asset for BACA and PACA, and for the development of young cricketers in Sussex as a whole. The Aldridge Cricket Academy is all about giving local students, both boys and girls, the same kinds of opportunities that students in fee paying schools generally have, but which are rare for players attending state schools. It was still the case at the end of this summer that the majority players in the England test team have gone through independent schools to get there. I hope it won’t be long before we see an Aldridge student playing for Sussex and hopefully one day England.”
BACA Principal Dylan Davies said: “The Cricket Centre is a wonderful new addition to our state-of-the-art sports facilities. Our specialism in sport is used to raise standards both on and off the playing fields. The Cricket Centre will help improve student’s health and wellbeing, develop sporting abilities and enable students to excel at a high level of sport. Through participating in our sports academies students develop skills of teamwork, determination and passion, which are necessary for success in the 21st century. Along with benefiting our students, we look forward to the facilities becoming a vital resource for the wider community and our local primary schools.”