We’re excited to bring you an update on the NIRSA/ICC Campus Cricket Program’s second year! NIRSA Headquarters is focused on growing the cricket program in strong regional areas. We’re expanding the number of schools playing intramural cricket while working with our pilot programs to maintain and grow cricket on their campuses.
Early in the year, we saw many of our pilot schools expand cricket on their campuses. NIRSA has now grown the pilot program by 30 new institutions for a total of 40 NIRSA member institutions and counting now playing intramural cricket! The Association has established two new regions—the Midwest and the Southeast—for cricket while also continuing to develop our other regions. The Texas region has more than doubled since last year, and six schools have joined the Northeast region. NIRSA is excited to see this tremendous growth just one year into piloting the cricket program.
One of our new programs, the University of Illinois, is actually holding two events in their first year offering intramural cricket to their students. “Our events in the fall went really well,” explains Nick Singer, Assistant Director of Intramural Activities at U of I. “We have students in our cricket club who want to expand the sport on campus. We enjoyed meeting them and they’re helping us a lot with building the sport on our campus. Cricket is a good opportunity to get students involved who have not participated in campus rec before. It’s a really unique experience.”
NIRSA members have done amazing things to advance cricket opportunities this year. There are now at least three schools in the program with designated spaces for cricket on campus, and the number of students playing cricket has more than doubled since the first year of the program. Members are eager to share what they have learned—the successes and the challenges—with other institutions, and the sport is building a strong community. NIRSA is excited to see new programs embrace the growth of cricket and organize new and exciting opportunities for students.
The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs had a major cricket clinic event to kick off the academic year. UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy, an avid cricket fan, attended the opening day of the event and bowled the first pitch. The local city cricket club assisted with the event, and pizza and prizes were given to the winners through local sponsorships. In total, over 100 students, faculty, and staff played cricket at this event.
“We had a great time hosting the cricket workshop and tournament while partnering with the local Colorado Springs Cricket Club, ICC, and NIRSA. Our campus community embraced the opportunity to learn the game from local players,” says Skyler Cook, Program Coordinator for Competitive Sports at UCCS. “Expanding our sport offerings to include cricket has made our program more inclusive while encouraging students to get involved in something new. We are excited to host future cricket events to build on our success.”
NIRSA Cricket Advisory Council
The NIRSA Board of Directors has also approved the formation of the NIRSA Cricket Advisory Council, which will provide the Association and its membership with advice and direction regarding opportunities, issues, and development specific to the needs of the NIRSA/ICC cricket partnership. Furthermore, the council will serve in an advisory capacity. It will assist NIRSA Headquarters staff with driving membership and participation growth for cricket on campus.
We’re excited to continue this program through this year, and we’re starting to see cricket programs increase the size, scope, and organization of their events. More institutions continue to express interest in cricket and we’re happy to see the program growing through the hard work of our NIRSA members.