THE ACADEMY AT A GLANCE
- Sixth Form students study for academic qualifications alongside professional cricket and fitness coaching
- A unique partnership between Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies, Sussex County Cricket Club and the Sussex Cricket Board.
Looking at 6th Form options? Want to …
- Play professional cricket, but don’t want to miss out on qualifications along the way?
- Build a career in cricket coaching, sports science, psychology, management or teaching?
- Go into a sports related business using your cricket and entrepreneurial skills?
- Or simply want to develop your cricket skills whilst getting your academic qualifications?
Working in partnership with Sussex Cricket, the Aldridge Cricket Academy (ACA) gives male and female cricketers the chance to develop sporting talent and academic qualifications together, rather than having to choose between the two.
Students from the Aldridge Cricket Academy combine their sixth-form studies at either Brighton or Portslade Aldridge Community Academies with an intensive cricket development programme. Now in its third year it’s a unique programme for both boys and girls in the state sector locally. In February 2015 students undertook their first tour, to South Africa. Former ACA student Tara Norris, who participated in the England Woman’s U-19 pace bowling camp in South Africa just before this tour, said “I learnt to make the most of every opportunity and to be pushed outside my comfort zone as great things happened when I did this.”
In February 2019 the ACA’s third tour saw the students playing and experience life in Sri Lanka.
The Academy is now in its fifth year and over 50 students have experienced the programme. Graduates have progressed onto specialist sports degrees at universities such as Loughborough and Southampton Solent, played club cricket on contract in Australia and played representative and university first team cricket in the UK. Tara Norris now plays for Sussex Seniors, is part of the England Academy programme and is Assistant Coach of Sussex Under 12 girls. In 2018 Liam O’Brien represented England in the Vitality IT20 Physical Disability Tri-Series campaign, scoring 60 and taking 2-31 with the ball on debut v. Pakistan and in 2019 Will Sheffield has signed professionally with Sussex and another former student, Jordan Shaw, made his debut in a friendly v. Hampshire.
In June 2016 the Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre was opened by former England Captain Charlotte Edwards in the presence of players and officials from Sussex Cricket. The Centre at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy’s Falmer campus, features three lanes of cricket nets with full run ups, a full service gym for strength and conditioning, and a Sussex Premier League standard cricket square. As well as being the home of the ACA it will also be the base for Sussex Women’s Cricket, a satellite for the Sussex County Cricket Club Academy and Emerging Players Programme and a community centre for local residents and primary schools.