Launched today (26 November), the Cricket Scotland Performance Academy will encourage the development of young male and female cricketers and facilitate the ongoing development of the sport across the country. It will use the ENGAGE sports complex at Edinburgh Napier, where a two-bay net lane is built.
Teams will also benefit from exposure to the on-site biomechanics facility of Edinburgh Napier, which provides high-tech scientific visual representations that provide insight and guidance on the abilities of teams. The college will provide training for strength and conditioning and provide links to its ENGAGE gym facility to participants of the academy.
Players chosen for the academy will have the opportunity to apply for a degree at Edinburgh Napier, including a jointly sponsored PhD in a cricket-related area. Athletes and coaches can join the Center for Developing Athletes at the school, including its philosophy of dual profession to help their academic studies.
The dual role plan means that through an appointed academic or professional training advisor, students who are competitors are sponsored within the school. The policy facilitates flexibility in approaches to teaching and learning, a mentoring scheme, and several relevant workshops.
At certain occasions, universities, community groups and other cricket clubs will also be able to use ENGAGE’s two-bay net lane to promote even greater interest in the game.
With the introduction of new forms and the number of participants currently standing at over 78,000, cricket is rising in Scotland, increasing 150% in five years. The sport has seen a spike in the cricket of women and girls. As one of the most competitive activities in Scotland, there are now more than 140 leagues and schools across the country competing on more than 200 grounds.
Dr Susan Brown, Edinburgh Napier University director of collaborations and innovation in sport, said: “Cricket is one of the world’s largest sporting activity and its success is growing rapidly in Scotland, so we are pleased to work with Cricket Scotland to establish the Quality Academy.
“Our partnership with Cricket Scotland has evolved over the years and the Academy is the perfect way to support mentor and player development. We can profit from what we can provide academically through our Center of Athletes Growth and our dual role plan, as well as through sports fitness and education.
“The volume of contact time spent on the next century of Scotland’s best will boost their training with the introduction of modern cricket networks. There is no question that this atmosphere would encourage potential Scottish Cricketers by being surrounded by other elite athletes in different sports and by the strength and conditioning lab on campus.
“This partnership is an incredible opportunity and part of our long-term talent development strategy. We can’t wait to see who the program’s first cricketer to earn a foreign cap will be.