Kilcullen Diary: May 2022

Images: Halverstown CC.

It was Dr. Martin Luther King who once started a speech with the words “I have a dream”, writing Stuart Conroy of Halverstown Cricket Club. Well, I had a dream that would involve schools in Kildare learning and playing cricket, and I may have just seen that dream come true.

It was two years of planning. It took a huge assist from Cricket Leinster’s Naomi Scott-Hayward. Funding has been requested from Kildare Sports Partnership and Halverstown Cricket Club. Cricket Leinster would provide the coaching and it took schools wanting to try a new sport that was not GAA or traditional football.

The two schools chosen were Scoil Bhride in Kilcullen and Brannoxtown CNS. We have been very lucky in this, we have also had a brilliant coach at the schools in Anne O’Meara who is the Kildare and Meath Development Officer for Cricket Leinster. We agreed that Anne would visit the schools weekly for training sessions, in the basics of cricket for four weeks before the Easter holidays and the highlight would be a Blitz with pupils from each club taking part in the Halverstown Cricket Club.

The day we were blessed with time. The cricket gods were truly smiling at us, nodding in approval. We had 120 children all playing together in the field at different stations. The enthusiasm was off the scale and the competitiveness was there. They loved every minute. Looking in was Syl Merrins of Kildare Sports Partnership, Cllr Tracey O’Dwyer and Hubert Beaumont, chairman of Halverstown Cricket Club. It was clear to see them all watching in breathtaking admiration.

The Blitz ended with the presentation of a trophy to both schools for their participation throughout the program. The message from the schools, Cricket Leinster and Halverstown was clear. We want more.

We want to bring this to more schools from September. Funding is crucial for this, and we hope to get it. Yes, I’m biased, but cricket is a wonderful game for everyone of all ages, boys and girls together. Maybe the Leprechaun Cup awaits these two schools in 2023. We’d love to help them get there.

Finally, out of those 120 kids who participated, maybe the next Kevin O’Brien or Isobel Joyce was out there. Who knows where this journey will end, but I know where the journey began. It was here.

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