On Friday afternoons Gore’s Hamilton Park is filled with young cricketers practising their craft.

Children from year 4 to year 8 take part in Southland Cricket’s Superstar Cricket programme organised by development officer Jack Hilton.

Mr Hilton said about 200 children took part in the programme.

‘‘We’ve got 26 teams.

‘‘It covers all of Hamilton Park which is pretty cool to see.’’

The success of the programme was ‘‘a bit overwhelming’’ .

‘‘In terms of numbers, this is the biggest term of cricket we’ve ever had in Eastern Southland.’’

While the plan was to cater for that many children taking part in the programme, he had not been sure they would get the numbers given
other sports were also available to play.

‘‘It’s pretty cool to see maybe some of the work we’ve been doing over the past couple of years is starting to really bear fruit.

‘‘We’re starting to see a lot of the same kids return year after year.’’

There were three grades of games, from beginners who used a soft ball to the experienced who used a standard cricket ball.

West Otago Volts players Emma Stiven (11) and Hannah Stewart (10) said they were enjoying their cricket.

‘‘It’s really fun,’’ Hannah said.