Baylor International Champions is an organisation based in High Wycombe in the United Kingdom who have teamed up with four media students from Orpington College to produce The TakeOff – a film that includes interviews from young people who relate their feelings about the game of cricket, what brought them to the sport and what inspires them to keep going at it in the face of funding cuts and the sell-off of school playing fields to make way for commercial property developments.
But BaylorIC haven’t let that stop them. Their film, The TakeOff, is taking off and will receive its first national airing on The Community Channel’s “Your Sport” programme on April 12th 2010 (See it on Sky 539, Virgin TV 233 or Freeview 87). The aim of the production spearheaded by Ingram Jones, a professional coach who calls on his extensive experiences of training sportsmen in Australia using explosive dynamic exercises as the key to his work with young people, is to encourage more children of primary school age to take part in sport, regardless of their ability or background.
“The dove image used on the cover of our video is symbolic of freedom,” he tells me. “We want all our young players to be able to experience that sense of flight and unbridled restraint reminiscent of my own youth, so that they may more fully enjoy learning and playing the great game of cricket.
In today’s digital world, too many kids are at risk of living an unhealthy lifestyle, and while others might be tempted to make poor choices, leading to a life of hardship or crime, we want to make a REAL difference at BaylorIC by providing sport and educational opportunities for our young people.”
Very noble sentiments. And in addition to coaching, BaylorIC also seek to encourage young cricketers to get involved with their local club and to continue their development as league players. They are visiting as many schools as possible in the UK to help set up cricket development programmes; “our hope is to benefit the local community by establishing strong club links with local cricket clubs and schools,” Ingram Jones said.
BaylorIC currently deliver cricket programmes in primary and secondary schools for both boys and girls. Coaches are fully recognised by the English Cricket Board (ECB) and have been appropriately checked by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in an effort to relieve any undue worries parents or carers might have. There are also a range of coaching packages available and delivered specifically for schools, including curriculum time coaching, breakfast and lunch time coaching as well as after school clubs.
Primary school sessions are delivered in the form of Kwik Cricket–a high-speed version of the game aimed mainly at encouraging children to take part in the main sport–with all basic cricketing skills being taught; batting, bowling, and fielding. Secondary school sessions are delivered in the form Hard Ball Cricket–using the original leather stitched ball as opposed to a soft ball used for junior players–with basic through to advanced skills being learnt by groups of very appreciative youngsters who seem to delight in the game and being taught by an attentive coach.
“If you want to see a change, you’ve got to get up and do something about it sometimes,” Ingram said. “That’s why we made The Takeoff,” and with the London 2012 Olympic Games just around the corner his Baylor International Champions have a complimentary mission:
- To produce top class players in Cricket.
- To establish and administer after-school clubs/academies of excellence.
- To produce players with the self-confidence to be physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the challenges that await them in competitive sport.
- To providing professional coaches to young people in the local borough who would otherwise not get access to sport after school.
- To encourage young people to play sport at its highest level.
- To teach not only the discipline of this sport, but also the disciplines of how to be a champion in life.
Sounds good to me! Need more information?
We wish Mr Jones and the project every success.