Recruitment of junior players and in particular kids for your junior blast program - the lifeblood of your junior program, is one of your most important areas of focus coming into the season. There are a number of ways that you can look to build this, some of which we will touch on below, and some points which we recommend ticking off early to be prepared for the season ahead!
Step One: Set up Your Program!
The sooner you can setup your Junior Blast and Master Blaster programs on Playcricket.com.au - the sooner you can start taking queries and registrations. All Cricket Australia marketing will push participants to sign up online at Playcricket and if your club is on there sooner rather than later, this will be a great advantage to you in being able to take any registrations from parents jumping on early to sign up. You can set this up in your admin section in the back end of your MyCricket.
See instructions here:
AFL Auskick Centres & Junior Football:
Targeting local Auskick centres and junior football clubs who you can look to build a relationship with and advertise to as their program finishes up for the year. You can see a map of these Auskick centres and our clubs in the region here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1dgLAcAZgwtdc3Vc0qgvZJrpTUd1xD0T-&usp=sharing
Local School Partnerships:
Building a "win-win" relationship with a local school can build long term benefits for your junior recruitment. Looking at ways you can give back more broadly to a school in return for advertising in their newsletter and attending school clinics will put you in a stronger position to promote and recruit at that school. Offering raffle prizes, helping out at working bee's, running BBQ's, fundraising, working together on facility grants can all be way to look at building this. Please contact us to discuss how you can get involved in Cricket Victoria assisted clinics or run these from your club this season.
Focus your resources:
Below is a pie chart showing what the most common sources of referral were this past season for junior blast in our region. As you can see, member referral and hearing directly from a cricket club were the largest sources of referral. Having procedures in place to encourage referral from current participants and actively driving this, while being involved in your broader community (i.e clinics, community days, come and try) can bring greater rewards. You can include this question in your online junior registration forms this season, helping you understand where most of your junior players hear about your program.
While you may want to focus most of your effort on a relationship with one or two schools, advertising more broadly within local school newsletters in your area will help to ensure there are more eyes on your club. Most families can travel to play in areas similar to their schools, so looking at those within a relative distance of your club is a good start. Make use of the templates on the community cricket website to get templates:
Communication is Key
Make sure that any of your previous participants know that you intend to run Junior Blast again, whether you are running Master Blaster and what each format is - how it leads to the next stage for their child. i.e If they have completed Master Blaster and are up to speed with the skills scorecard - they will be ready to play 7 a side, and then 9 a side, before playing U12's. Using the Mycricket app, team app or whatsapp as a direct communication tool can also be a great way to keep in touch with your parents and what's happening.
Quality will bring you retention
Make sure that whoever is running your blast program has done the Junior Blast accreditation online and is delivering a quality session. If your program is not looking like a blast session and kids are not engaged and having fun, then they won't come back - or more importantly recruit others for you. Utilize the resources available with your blast pack and the Cricket Blast App which will automatically plan your sessions for you.
Regional Blast Training Sessions
We will be running two blast training sessions for your club blast coordinator and/or junior coordinator to attend prior to the season. We strongly recommend ALL clubs wishing to have junior programs have someone attend at least one of these sessions so that you are well equipped to handle blast if and when you plan to run it.We will be communicating these dates and times in the near future to all clubs and associations.
If you have some other great ideas around building your blast program and growing junior cricket - we are keen to hear them! Please get in touch so we can sit down and build a case study that will help all clubs grow the game!
Region Contact Information:
Club Officer: Angus Gauld - email@example.com
Participation Officer: Braden Tuohey - BTuohey@cricketvictoria.com.au