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HomeschoolsBroadrick Secondary School cricket team upbeat despite finishing bottom in first NSG...

Broadrick Secondary School cricket team upbeat despite finishing bottom in first NSG season

SINGAPORE – Making their National School Games (NSG) debut in the recently concluded season, Broadrick Secondary School’s cricket team lost all their matches after being pitted against more established sides.

But their spirits were not dampened. The 13 players, who had formed their own interest group to compete as their school does not offer cricket as a co-curricular activity, are already looking forward to next season.

Despite it being the September school holidays, six of the available players showed up for training in the Mountbatten-based school on Tuesday.

Coach S. Sivalingam, a flexi-adjunct teacher with the school, said of his team’s eagerness: “When they want to learn, I’m happy to work with them. They’re keen to improve and have a good team approach.”

The former national cricketer stressed that they have punched above their weight this season against champions Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Raffles Institution, Victoria School and St Patrick’s School, who are all traditional cricket-playing schools.

He said: “I told them we’ve been elevated to that level, and they took up the challenge. I (even) have coaches from those schools coming to compliment them for doing well.”

The team of mainly Secondary 1 students were formed only in April, with most players having no experience in cricket.

It all started when a group of four or five classmates got together and trained, attracting the attention of Sivalingam, who asked them to play on the parade square during recess one day.

It drew interest from other students, some of whom asked to join the team, including Caele Kai Miles, who had picked up cricket through his father four years ago.

The 14-year-old, who had participated in competitions with his previous school in Britain, was eventually named the captain.

The Sec 2 student enjoyed his leadership role, saying: “It was quite fun because I like teaching them.”

The learning curve was a steep one, though. Players such as Ramasamy Yuvanakrishna, 13, had to “basically start from zero”.

The Sec 1 student said: “But I slowly watched and followed my movements at home by looking in the mirror, seeing what’s wrong and fixing them.”

The thought of giving up did cross his mind early on as “some skills were too hard” for him, but he “just went through the pain and learnt to enjoy the sport”.

Teammate Samy Pravin, also in Sec 1, was close to quitting as well.

He said: “I used to have a fixed mindset that I can always take the easy route, but now with these experiences I’m more disciplined.”

Not only has the sport helped him as a person, but it has also strengthened his determination to work on his weaknesses.

He said: “I hope to improve on my fielding. I want to get used to the speed of the ball and get stronger.”

Playing in the cricket team meant devoting extra hours in school as they would already have taken up an official CCA, but that did not deter the players from committing to the sport.

Caele, whose CCA is taekwondo and is also in a football interest group, said: “It does not take up a lot of time, I have Tuesday and Thursday free so it’s better than sitting there doing nothing.”

Although he cannot play in the C Division next season, he added that he would continue supporting the team.

Moving forward, Broadrick’s head of department for CCA Aathi Neelan Ganesan shared that the school will “gauge the interest” of the sport in the next three years before considering turning it into a CCA.

But, for next season, Sivalingam said: “We’ll work with them one step at a time… (and) definitely give the other schools a fight.”

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