Brighton Aldridge Community Academy

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Sussex agrees extension with BACA

Sussex Cricket is delighted to announce an extension of the partnership between the Club, Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) and the Aldridge Foundation.

The partnership extension will see the continuation of BACA as Sussex Cricket’s state school of choice for cricket until at least August 2025. This six-year partnership enables and celebrates high class cricket coaching and skills development in a state school environment and is a proven replicable model for driving wider representation within the profession.

With a best-in-class indoor cricket centre and pitch, BACA’s cricket academy pathways provide students with the opportunity to play in the Junior Cricket Pathway from the ages of 11-16 and then in the Sixth Form Cricket Academy from 16-19, with coaching and strategic programme advice provided by Sussex Cricket.

Both programmes are thriving and aim to give children from state school backgrounds a pathway into professional cricket. In September 2023, the largest cohort ever was welcomed to BACA: 30 Junior and 23 sixth form students.

The BACA Sussex Cricket partnership has demonstrable success and currently there are 21 students who have progressed on to the next steps of their professional cricket journeys.

17 male players have been part of Sussex Cricket’s Player Pathway Programme in the last two years, with an additional two players in the Sussex Cricket’s Emerging Players and one in the Senior Academy programmes.

There are four female players, that are also a part of the Sussex Girl’s pathway and one of these has earned a place on the Southern Vipers Emerging Players Programme this winter.

The Cricket Academy at BACA is headed up by Sussex Women Head Coach Alexia Walker, with expert coaching also provided by former Sussex, Surrey, and Pakistan international, Yasir Arafat and Sussex Cricket Pathway Manager, Phil Hudson. Sussex Cricket are also committed to ensuring the high quality of the playing facilities at BACA, which is overseen by Sussex Cricket Grounds Manager, Ben Gibson and run throughout the year by Sussex Grounds person, Jack Harrington.

Principal of BACA, Jack Davies said: “BACA are immensely proud of the cricket provision we continue to deliver to a very high standard around our academic programmes. We are an ambitious school inside and outside the classroom and the cricket programme epitomises this culture.

"Working with Sussex Cricket allows for so many more opportunities for our students to be exposed to elite level sport and helps them grow as cricketers and people.”

Keith Greenfield, Director of Pathways and Cricket Partnerships for Sussex Cricket, said: “The renewed partnership agreement with our state school of choice gives us a great opportunity to continue to grow the quality and quantity of our provision available, in what are exceptional facilities within the state sector.

“In line with the recent ICEC report findings, making high quality provision to people from all backgrounds is something we know we can achieve with everyone at BACA.”

The school itself has received national recognition and, for the fifth consecutive  year, was listed again this year in The Cricketer’s Top 100 Cricket Schools in the country. BACA is one of only 12 state funded schools recognised in this prestigious list, and of those it is one of only 8 non selective schools.

The relationship between Sussex Cricket and BACA also enables regular opportunities for the students to visit The 1st Central County Ground to watch games or training and meet key individuals at Sussex Cricket.

The partners are also exploring ways to create work-experience, internships and apprenticeship opportunities at Sussex Cricket to open students’ eyes to opportunities and design meaningful career pathways in the sports industry. 

Sir Rod Aldridge OBE, Founder and Chairman of the Aldridge Foundation, added: “I believe in the power of sport, and particularly cricket, in helping young people to develop key life skills which will support their progress not only in sport, but also their careers and life.

“I am delighted that the Aldridge Foundation was the leading partner in the establishment of this valuable cricket facility and programme and remains a key partner, alongside BACA and Sussex Cricket, in supporting its continued development.

“We have ambitious plans to build on the success of the Aldridge Cricket Academy and create opportunities and pathways for more state school pupils to play the game, progress through further or higher education and into the successful, long-term careers they choose.”

To find out more about the opportunities at BACA visit their website - or contact Alexia Walker, BACA Director of Cricket on