Cricket-mad India posted billboards welcoming the arrival of Flinders University sport education students to Delhi for special community end-of-year coaching clinics.
Training about two hours out of the city area of more than 26 million people, Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity education students Will Pratt, Rune Gilfoy and Joshua De Boar worked with 10-15 year old cricket players from the Gurgaon World School at the outer districts of Delhi.
Accompanied by Flinders education lecturers Associate Professor Shane Pill, Dr Deb Agnew and Dr Sam Schulz, three groups of Flinders students are working with several schools with support from Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy representative Mr Sattick Roy.
As part of the New Colombo Mobility Fund program, other students also ran clinics at schools in Kolkata and Mumbai.
“This opportunity has not only helped increase our industry experience but has also opened our eyes to a vastly different culture and how people perceive their quality of life,” Will says.
Will Pratt, who previously went to India for a similar Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy tour, says the young students are very keen to learn and the ability levels and language challenges put uni learnings into practice.
“Through what we have learnt in our course, we were able to utilise small-sided games and fitness-based exercises to create a fun session … as well as teach about nutrition, the skeletal system and strength training for cricket,” Will says. “We are very grateful for the opportunity we have been provided.”
Rune Gilfoy says the schools and the country’s culture were both “incredibly welcoming”.
“The students we coached shocked us with their overwhelming excitement to participate, learn and talk to us,” Rune says.
“Personally, the experience has made me really appreciate the quality of life we have in Australia and the quality of our education system.”
Joshua De Boar says the experience helped to improve his skills and “opened my eyes up to how lucky we are to study and work in such an amazing country.
“It has also encouraged me to take my future endeavours overseas again,” Josh says.
The latest Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity, and Physical Education students’ tour was organised and hosted by Deepak Anand, a South Africa-based cricket player and coach who coordinates coaching and playing opportunities for people from his home country.
“The tours he runs for promising cricketers always includes two players who come from less advantaged areas to give them a start,” Dr Agnew says.
“We’re also grateful for the latest funding opportunity presented by the Australian Government’s fantastic New Colombo Mobility Plan grant program.”
The New Colombo Plan Mobility Program offers financial assistance to Australian undergraduate students to undertake specific international experiences as part of a Flinders University degree.