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BatFirst to give bats to 5,000 kids from low decile schools

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Starting 14 October, Auckland Cricket's new initiative BatFirst will aim to put a bat and a ball in the hands of every Year 3 child attending a decile five or lower School in Auckland.

Auckland Cricket Chief Executive, Iain Laxon is excited by the prospect of opening up a different world to children and believes it will change the way people think about and interact with cricket.

“BatFirst is one of the most exciting projects that Auckland Cricket has embarked on in a long time. Putting a bat in a kid's hand can open up a world of possibilities for them to enjoy. If that helps them be more physically active and sets them on a path to love sport, then we will have achieved some of our key goals.”

The idea is for children to create their own fun games to play using their new bat and ball with friends, learning that cricket can be played by anyone with a bat and ball, anytime, anywhere.

The long-term goal is to help all children in low decile schools have better sporting and physical activity opportunities, which can assist in their overall educational and social development. BatFirst aims to provide students with a platform to experience the value of teamwork and active cooperation through basic cricket skills.

This summer, the programme will be in at least 40 schools and BatFirst will gift students a total of 5000 bats and balls across Auckland. Based on Ministry of Education numbers from 2018, these students will be 48% female and identify as 27% Maori, 39% Pacific and 17% Asian.

Community Development Manager, Tony Naidu is thrilled to be expanding the cricket community and offering girls and boys the opportunity to experience a fundamental facet of being a ‘Kiwi Kid'.

"It is really exciting to launch our new initiative BatFirst with the support of Auckland Cricket Development Foundation and Aktive KiwiSport funding.

"BatFirst has the potential to make a generational change in how people perceive cricket and we believe it can leave a lasting legacy."

What is BatFirst?

BatFirst consists of three parts: Get Creative, Get Social and Get Together.

Get Creative - Students are given the opportunity to personalise their own bat stickers, using colouring pens donated to the school.

Get Social - BatFirst Ambassadors will assist students with learning and playing two simple fun games; outlines for the games are included with the set.

Get Together - Festival Days for schools to play together.


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