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What's next? . . . North Otago Cricket summer development officer Jaden Dowling comes up with a plan with Araya Mackay and Franklin Hattingh. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

North Otago Cricket’s summer holiday programmes are helping introduce more children to the sport.

The association hosted a three-day mixed holiday programme and a two-day Yeah! Girls programme last week promoting the sport to children through various skills and drills sessions.

More than 30 children attended the mixed programme, hosted by summer development officer Jaden Dowling, and 16 girls took part in the Yeah! Girls programme, hosted by summer development officer Isabella Martin.

Both programmes promoted participation while teaching children basic cricket skills.
North Otago development officer Ethan Booth said the programmes were great for getting children active and involved in the sport.

‘‘I think it’s cool to see more kids playing the game. It’s not the easiest game to get into,’’ Booth said.

‘‘We’re trying to figure out ways where we can have a cricket game that finishes in and hour . . . but still feel like the kids are learning skills, and some areas that they can bring back into real life situations later on,’’

The programmes lead on to the Boys Blast and Girls Smash competitions, to held in Palmerston on February 28, Oamaru on March 2, and Kurow on March 3.

The competitions involve teams of six and Booth said it was important to get out into the rural communities.

‘‘Some of our people playing Hawke Cup . . .and [who] have played to higher honours, have come from those areas.

‘‘It’s also just providing sport to kids who might not get the opportunity to play.’’

Anyone interested in taking part in Boys Blast and Girls Smash could contact Booth at cdo@northotagocricket.co.nz.