Electric excitement surged through the crowd of students at Crossing Park School as they tried out a game unfamiliar to some Calgarians: Cricket.

The school was part of yesterday’s official launch of the Cricket Canada Scotiabank School Program, which provides two free kits — complete with all necessary cricket supplies — information and training workshops, to schools interested in participating.

The launch was held in the gym, where the game was explained and representatives from Cricket Canada, Cricket Alberta and Scotiabank addressed the students.

“Our school is just the perfect place to have this,” said Barb Sigalet, principal of the northeast school. “I’m very excited that the kids have this chance to develop a passion for the game.”

She says that since their school is so culturally diverse, she hopes the game, traditional to many of the students, acts as a bridge-builder.

Darren Mein, academic instructor, began teaching at Crossing Park four years ago.

“I had kids coming up to me then asking ‘can we play cricket?’” he said, adding that they “jumped all over” the opportunity when they heard about it.

“I think it’s great that kids will be learning to play and can bring it to the next generation,” said student Khesrow Nader, 14.

The Afghanistan native moved to Canada in 2001 from India, where he learned to play cricket.
“It’s a pretty fun sport,” he said.

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