(ST. CHARLES): The St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department in cooperation with the Missouri Youth Cricket Association will present a two-day cricket clinic on July 12 and 19 at DuSable Park.

The Missouri Youth Cricket Association will be conducting this clinic to introduce the sport of cricket, which is the fastest growing sport in America. The clinic will start with an overview of cricket, a warm up, fielding drills, bowling drills, and batting drills. It will conclude with a competitive game. Every child will have an equal opportunity to enjoy this sport in a fun and friendly environment.

DuSable Park serves as the home base for the Missouri Youth Cricket Association. The St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department maintains a cricket pitch and two practice cricket pitches in the Bales Park portion of DuSable Park.

"The St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department is pleased to be able to foster the opportunity for children to learn the sport of cricket," said Maralee M. Britton, Director of Parks and Recreation. "Our parks are home to so many youth sports from baseball and softball to soccer to tennis to swimming and even skateboarding. The addition of cricket shows how the Parks Department can partner with an organization like the Missouri Youth Cricket Association to fill a need in the community. We look forward to continuing to work with MYCA to grow the sport of cricket in our area."

The Department installed the concrete 90-foot by 12-foot cricket pitch in the DuSable Park in 2012. The Department later installed turf on the pitch. Practices pitches were added in the fall of 2013 and the Department recently installed turf on them and add a backstop.

The impetus for installing a cricket pitch in the park came when Ranjeet and Priya Singh, founders of the Missouri Youth Cricket Association, contacted the St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department. They live in St. Charles and they were seeking a dedicated facility where youths could be taught the sport of cricket.

Chris Atkinson, assistant director of Parks and Recreation, took the lead for the Department in coordinating with MYCA. Atkinson, who was born in England, was familiar with the sport of cricket and knew what MYCA would need.

"St. Charles Parks and Recreation has been absolutely supportive in the growth of cricket in Missouri," Ranjeet Singh said.

Installation of the cricket pitch and practice pitches was funded by grants made through the USYCA Build-A-Pitch Program to the St. Charles Parks and Recreation Foundation, and by rent the MYCA pays to use the fields, with only minimal city dollars being used.

The field now gets heavy use from April through October. MYCA uses it every weekend as the cricket ground for its academy.

The two-day cricket clinic on July 12 and 19 is for children ages 7 to 11. The clinic will run from 9 to 11 a.m. both days at DuSable Park, 2300 N. Main St., St. Charles. The participation fee is $35 per person.

Another two-day cricket clinic will be presented from 9 to 11 a.m. Sept. 13 and 20.

To register for either clinic, visit the St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department website at www.stcharlesparks.com. To learn more about the Missouri Youth Cricket Association, visit its website at www.mocricket.org

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The City of St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department proudly serves our residents with 23 parks comprised of more than 800 acres. The City of St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department provides parks, facilities and programs to enrich the quality of life for residents and visitors, while preserving green space for future generations to enjoy.

City of St. Charles Parks and Recreation ... An Extension of Your Own Backyard!