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Video: editor takes up the cricket bat

Massively popular in other parts of the world, Rainbow board has introduced the game in its phys ed curriculum as more newcomers settle in Sudbury

When we learned Rainbow District School Board students are now learning cricket, one of the world’s most popular sports, editor Mark Gentili wanted in on the fun.

Watch our video to see Grade 8 students at Lasalle Secondary School and the Rainbow board’s Matt Cootes giving Gentili the basics at the Lancer Dome.

(By the way, if you have an idea for something our staff should try, email us at [email protected]).

Cootes, the Rainbow board’s physical literacy and physical education co-ordinator, said he grew up in Australia, where cricket is very popular, “with a bat in my hand.”

050424_hu_mark_tries_cricket editor Mark Gentili (centre) poses with Lasalle Elementary School students at the Lancer Dome after learning the basics of the game of cricket. Heidi Ulrichsen /

He has enjoyed introducing the sport to Rainbow board students in recent years. With many newcomers from countries where cricket is popular now settling in Greater Sudbury, a lot of students are actually already familiar with the sport.

We “want to make sure that we are representing cultures within our classrooms,” Cootes said.

“That's how we tie it in. It creates excitement, that joy. We've seen today look at how much fun the students are having learning something, but also the students who have experience and are connecting with other students that would not have seen the game before.”

While cricket might conjure images of Downton Abbey, the sport is very much still popular in the present day.

In India. “the culture of cricket is probably bigger than what it is with hockey in Canada,” he said. “The players there have godlike status, so they can sell out a stadium of over 100,000 to 150,000 any one time.”  

With support from the Ministry of Education’s Programs and Partnership Development Program. During the last school year, Rainbow District School Board received $10,000 to purchase cricket equipment and train staff. 

Another $20,500 has been provided this year to bring the game to more schools and more students.

Cricket is a striking/fielding game that is prominent in a large number of countries including Australia, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, The West Indies, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, The Netherlands, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, said a Rainbow board press release.

It’s similar to baseball in format, with one batting team and one fielding team. The objective is to outscore the other team.

Physical education teachers in Rainbow Schools participated in initial training in the fall of 2022. Lessons have already taken place at Lasalle Secondary School, Lively District Secondary School, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Manitoulin Secondary School, S. Geiger Public School, Valley View Public School, Confederation Secondary School and Lockerby Composite School.

Rainbow District School Board has partnered with the Big Nickel Cricket Club and Cambrian College, which has a travelling team, to assist with skills development as well as school and community events. Workshops and events will take place at individual schools and the Lancer Dome. 

Through cricket, Rainbow District School Board is promoting healthy, active living, while fostering equity and inclusive education, said the press release.

Interested in cricket in Sudbury? Visit the Big Nickel Cricket Club on Facebook or Instagram to find out more.

Heidi Ulrichsen is’s assistant editor. She also covers education and the arts scene.


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Heidi Ulrichsen

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