A partnership with the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy in India is giving sport and physical education students from South Australia a headstart in their careers.
The successful work-integrated learning program, funded by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan, has seen Flinders University undergraduate students work with hundreds of primary and high school students for the past three years.
These partnerships have provided a good model to promote student learning and employment prospects while also building health and physical activity in Indo-Pacific countries.
“A critical element of the placement is a project developed and undertaken by the student that specifically targets the needs of the host organisation,” says Bachelor (Sport, Health and Physical Activity) senior lecturer Dr Deb Agnew.
“As well, our partner organisations in India – including the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) which has local links there – have been vital in connecting us with schools and sports clubs, which complements the academic support provided by university staff.”
Universities Australia has promoted work-integrated learning (WIL) models that effectively enhance graduates’ work readiness during their study program.
Flinders Education researchers Dr Agnew, Associate Professor Shane Pill and higher education expert Professor Janice Orrell have revised a progressive model for sport sector WIL.
The international experience gives students the chance to “implement sport development projects in culturally distinct contexts from the local setting, and to deal with the personal complexities and challenges this presents,” says Associate Professor Shane Pill.
“Successfully dealing with these challenges, far removed from the comforts of home, along with assessment of the project planning and implementation provides enormous personal and professional growth which proves valuable for future work in any section of the sport industry.”
The paper, entitled ‘Applying a conceptual model in sport sector work-integrated learning contexts’, appears in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 2017, 18(3), 185-198.
Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy operations manager Sattick Roy says the DLCA has a presence all over India in schools and cricket academies from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and many more.
The organisation, which started in Adelaide in 2005 under the South Australian Cricket Association, expanded to India in 2013.
“It really took off when we started touring India with young players from Australia, New Zealand, England, North America and other parts of the world,” Mr Roy says.
“They joined us to experience the DLCA training and development and at the same time get a feel of the pitches, opposition and the culture of India.”
Originally catering for mainly UK players, the academy now attracts players from all over the world for its High Performance Program in Adelaide from October to March every year.
The DLCA has produced 20 players who have played Test Cricket and 100+ First Class cricketers. They include Joe Root, Alex Hayes, Sam Billings, Jason Roy, Monty Panesar and Sambit Patel to name a few.