Former England cricket captain opens state of the arts cricket centre
The official opening of The Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre, home to the Aldridge Cricket Academy (ACA), took place on Wednesday 29 June. To celebrate the unveiling, the centre played host to a variety of events and activities with one of the country's best cricketers, Charlotte Edwards CBE. As former England captain Charlotte was the first player, male or female, to score 2,500 runs in T20 internationals, and led England 220 times.
The main attraction on the day was the match between ACA and, Prince Charles’ alma mater Scottish private school, Gordonstoun testing out the Sussex Premier League standard cricket square, which concluded with a win for ACA.
There was a great atmosphere as invitees arrived to enjoy guided tours of the new state of the art building. The centre, a partnership between Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community academies and Sussex County Cricket Club, has been designed to be a hub for cricket in Brighton. It features a physiotherapy room, a well-equipped gym, with the same cycling machines used at the Rugby World Cup, and a main hall room with three full-sized cricket nets on matting, designed to emulate the bounce of a real wicket, with bowling machine and fielding machines.
In the run up to the opening event, a competition was launched inviting all local primary schools to create a piece of artwork inspired by the theme of cricket. Three winners were selected and displayed alongside other entries in the new centre.
Once all the tours had concluded, all invitees were welcomed to BACA to enjoy food and speeches, along with the unveiling of a plaque. Dylan Davies, BACA Principal, welcomed everyone and introduced Sir Rod Aldridge from the Aldridge Foundation, who talked about the vision behind ACA and the centre.
“This facility is a wonderful asset for BACA and PACA, and for the development of young cricketers in Sussex as a whole. The Aldridge Cricket Academy is all about giving local students, both boys and girls, the same kinds of opportunities that students in fee paying schools generally have, which are rare for players attending state schools.”
This was followed by Jim May, Sussex Cricket Chairman who talked about the partnership between ACA and Sussex Cricket.
“I’m absolutely delighted by the progress of the Aldridge Cricket Academy and with the development of this cricket centre. It’s a significant investment which will bring great benefits to the academies’ students and to the whole of Sussex cricket” Jim May, Sussex Cricket chairman.
Any finally guest of honour, Charlotte Edwards CBE, presented the plaque to mark the occasion and officially open the centre which will be home to the Aldridge Cricket Academy, offering sixth form students’ academic qualifications alongside professional cricket development with dedicated training and playing facilities. It will also be a base for Sussex women’s and girl’s cricket as well as a satellite for the Sussex Cricket Academy and for Sussex’s emerging players programme.
You can watch a video of the evening here.