FRIENDLY rivalry between Rustington’s three primary schools was forgotten as pupils came together to catch the cricket bug.
Summerlea Primary School hosted an afternoon giving its own pupils and children from Georgian Gardens and Rustington Primary schools the chance to learn batting, bowling and fielding skills from a top-class coach.
John Davies, who holds coaching sessions at Summerlea twice a week, taught the willing youngsters the basics of the game, before the eight children from each school were merged to form three teams for a tournament at the end of the afternoon,
“It went very well, with the children learning cricket skills, but the main thing was bringing them together to get to know the children from other schools better,” said John, a junior on Surrey’s staff as a youngster, who later played for Middleton for almost 30 years in the Sussex League and gained his top, level 3 coaching qualification and English Cricket Board tutor status. He was also the Chilean national cricket coach for a year and now devotes much of his time to working with young players, and particularly those with disabilities, at the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation.
Summerlea teachers Rob Favell and Katie Turner helped John with the coaching. Rob said: “It was a fantastic afternoon, very successful. John has a very good rapport with the children and is very enthusiastic. For most of them it was their first taste of cricket, and the matches at the end gave them an opportunity to put into practice the skills they had learned.”
The afternoon was organised by Summerlea business manager Katrina Wright. “We’ve had very good feedback from the other schools,” she said. “They thought it was an excellent afternoon.”