Townsville School Leading The Way Nurturing Cricket Passion

Southern Cross Catholic College in Townsville has been dubbed the nation’s elite cricket school by Cricket Australia.

The college took out the Celebrating Cricket in Schools category in the annual Community Cricket Awards announced this week.

Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville (SCCC) has long been respected for its commitment to fostering cricket within the school community. However, during the 2023-24 season, the school embarked on some new initiatives taking the promotion and growth of cricket in North Queensland to a new level.

Under the leadership of Chris Horn, the school’s chief cricket coordinator and a “cricket tragic”, SCCC has fostered a strong passion for the sport in the community. Horn's enthusiastic support for cricket has played a key role in shaping the success of the sport in the school. His dedication can be seen in the many hours he puts into the game, both during and after school.

SCCC students love playing cricket for their school, as it provides a safe and supportive environment. Horn encourages his students to aim for success while showing respect for the game. He ensures everyone is given a fair go, which reflects his commitment to creating a supportive atmosphere.

This passion also spreads the appreciation of the sport to other schools in the region thanks to the regular inter-school matches organised Horn, resulting in more club registrations and competitions.

Through initiatives like Sporting Schools, the school collaborates with Queensland Cricket to provide young students with invaluable exposure to the sport. SCCC's participation in various competitions, including the Primary School Blast Cups and StreetSmarts Secondary School tournaments, underscores its commitment to fostering talent at all levels.

One standout feature of the 23/24 season was the introduction of new programs. The after-school Woolworths Cricket Blast program was particularly popular, drawing in participants who were new to the game. The program's success led to registrations filling up quickly, showing how it sparked a fresh interest in cricket.

Another particularly exciting addition to SCCC's activities was the Cricket Tour to New Zealand. Eleven students, all part of the school's Cricket Academy, had the opportunity to explore Christchurch and its surroundings over eight days. They played five matches and got a taste of New Zealand's cricket culture, which undoubtedly left a lasting impression on them.

North Queensland Cricket Manager, Antony Stewart said, “[The tour] was an experience that those young men and women will never forget, and the benefits to their cricket really are limitless.

“The other great thing is it’s aspirational, with many, many other young players now keen to start playing cricket so that they can maybe enjoy the same experience in the future.”

As Southern Cross Catholic College keeps creating initiatives to support cricket talent and passion, and with community members such as Chris Horn leading the way, growth in cricket participation in the north is set to soar.

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