A unique partnership between Bay of Plenty Cricket and Upper Central Rugby League, will see the two organizations share the services of a sport development officer during the calendar year.
Brent Jones, who is employed by Upper Central Zone Rugby League during the winter sports season, has been contracted to deliver grassroots cricket programs in the BOPCA Lakeland region of Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupo.
General Manager of Upper Central Zone Rugby League Mel Bennett said “Upper Central Zone Rugby League and Bay of Plenty Cricket initially started negotiating the idea of role sharing in January this year. Brent’s exceptional delivery of Cricket and Rugby League skills made it an easy decision for the two sporting codes to collaborate”. “Brent worked in schools for two days per week over February, March and April this year with the relationship proving to be beneficial. This larger project will allow the continuation of high quality delivery over the summer period”.
The newly appointed Lakeland Development Officer will be involved in promoting cricket in schools in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupo regions. He will also facilitate the NZ Cricket junior in-school skills program and oversee junior cricket festivals in the three regions.
Brent played premier Baywide cricket for Whakatane United for five seasons after shifting to the Eastern Bay of Plenty in 2005. With two sons getting involved in cricket, Brent started to coach his son’s teams. Last season he coached the Whakatane Wizards who performed strongly in the WBOPCA top Intermediate (Gold) Division played in Tauranga each Saturday morning.
“What really drives me is to create opportunities for kids to play sport and my rugby league and cricket employment, gives me the chance to put my passion to work in two different sports in the Bay of Plenty” said Brent.
Bay of Plenty Cricket Manager Tai Bridgman-Raison said “It is always a challenge to retain quality people when you are only able to offer seasonal employment. The collaboration with Upper Central Rugby League allows us the opportunity to secure the services of a high quality deliverer, which will generate positive outcomes for both sports”.
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