Joe Root, who stepped down as captain of England cricket earlier this year, returns to his old stomping ground, launching The R66t Academy at Worksop College, where he was once a student.
As a non-selective, broad-ability senior school, boasting sportspeople such as Samit Patel, Adam Dixon, Billy Root, and Joe Root, is no mean feat. Joe joined the school in 2006, and left a profound impact on the teachers who coached him. Ian Parkin, Assistant Head, told us:
“As a young player, what stood out, other than his obvious technical proficiency at such a young age, was his relentless work ethic and attitude to practice. He would always be first to arrive at training, and would hit balls long after everyone else had left. He was a lovely, normal kid, who has gone all the way.”
Hoping to motivate this work ethic in the cricketers of tomorrow, alongside his brother Billy, Joe Root has launched the R66t Academy, established to give cricketers of any age, gender, race, ability and location an opportunity to play and enjoy cricket. Speaking on the academy, Root told us:
“Billy and I are delighted that our old school has become one of the first R66T Academy Partnership schools. The excellent coaching infrastructure at the College will help to ensure that a continuous stream of talented cricketers come through the College and that the young players chosen to form the Academy can combine an outstanding education with focused cricket training.”
The purpose of the academy is to place emphasis on grass root cricket, ensuring pupils enjoy all aspects of the game and develop a healthy competitive spirit. Fitting perfectly with the school’s values, the academy aims to allow young cricketers to express their own natural talents, appreciating excellence while enjoying the success of other players.
Another of Worksop College’s alumni, and CEO of KSB Cricket, Karanjit Bansal, was asked to be a coach at the R66t Academy:
“It was an absolute privilege to be asked to coach at the Root Academy which was held at Worksop College. We had a fantastic two days with the players – it was great to see them have so much fun and work on their games in a really positive environment. Having this affiliation alongside the coaching set up that we already have bodes well for the future of cricket at the college, it will allow more players to get involved and continue their development as players as well as people. I know first-hand how the College can have a positive influence on your life/sport, so it is really nice to be back coaching and helping the next generation through.”
Later in the year, Worksop College will pair with The R66t Academy School Partnership Program, sending their skilled cricket coaches out to local state schools. With the aim to engage as many young cricketers as possible, the team at Worksop College and the R66t Academy want to share ideas and coaching techniques with teachers, enhancing the delivery of cricket coaching to school-age players.
“We are excited to see the impact that the Academy players will make in the local state primary schools, where they will undertake a coaching programme and then organise and run a cricket festival,” Joe told us. “This is a real win for cricket – good luck to everyone involved!”