Waikato Valley Cricket Association (WVCA) has seen a resurgence of cricket within the Thames Valley area, with WVCA investing in a full-time development officer for the Thames/Coromandel region.
Ramesh Subasinghe was appointed to the region at the beginning of the 2018/19 season and cricket participation has been on the increase ever since. Ramesh has led a coordinated effort to introduce free cricket programmes to local girls and boys in primary and intermediate schools. These programmes finish with an opportunity to participate in a fun community cricket day held at a local venue. Throughout March 2019, WVCA have scheduled four community cricket festival days to provide schools an opportunity to participate.
The first of these days was held on Friday 01 March at Paeroa College for primary/intermediate schools in the local Paeroa and Ngatea regions. Eight schools participated across a number of 30 minute games throughout the day, with Mike Cotter, a WVCA life member and local Thames Valley stalwart, closing a fantastic event with some inspirational words to all participants; "You (the children) are the future of cricket in Thames Valley. It is very exciting to see so many schools and students participating on a hot and enjoyable day, and what a great day of cricket it was. It is fantastic to see so many schools playing cricket again in Thames."
Netherton, Miller Avenue, Central, Christian, Ngatea, Waitakaruru, Turura and Kerepehi schools all enjoyed a great day at the cricket in Paeroa College. WVCA will be running another three cricket festivals for the local primary and intermediate schools as listed below, with a total of 19 schools registered to participate across the three events:
Whangamata/Waihi - March 5 2019, Whangamata Area School
Thames - March 6 2019, Rhodes Park Thames
Coromandel/Whitianga - March 12 2019, Coromandel Area School