By Jade Glen
Nurturing the talents of junior players and fostering a close community environment is the aim of the game at Cranbourne Indoor Sports.
Managing director Jannette Dunlop said the centre held clinics to support juniors and help players achieve their goals of competing on the national stage.
Cricket and soccer clinics start for children as young as five years old, and the Ready Steady Go program gives pre-schoolers a taste of different sports.
“We’ve got soccer, cricket, and we are looking at netball clinics,” Jannette said.
“For the five to 10-year-olds, we work to build their skills and technique, then for the 11-14-year-olds, it’s more about the individual and supporting them on their pathway.”
Cranbourne Indoor Sports caters for everyone, from those at the very beginnings of their sporting career to those with real aspirations of playing for Australia.
The centre is home of the Cranbourne Kings, and three women from the Cranbourne Kings Division 1 team are now in the Australian women’s cricket team.
Jannette said children were welcome to join a clinic at any stage, even if they had no prior experience of the sport.
“Our coaches identify motor skills of kids, and also develop skills on how to play as a team, how to get along with everybody,” she said.
“Maybe, they need one-on-one coaching to get their confidence up – if you play as a team and feel you are being judged, your confidence will plummet and you won’t want to play that sport. It’s very important to follow the mindset and confidence of the child.”
The centre is family-focused, and parents are welcomed with the heater turned up for those winter clinics and tea and coffee supplied.
Jannette said many of the coaches at Cranbourne Indoor Sports had played at high levels themselves.
“We have a strong leadership team which is really important,” Jannette said.
“I’m from a small country town, and the community was linked together by sport. I’m trying to develop what I’ve been brought up in, where everybody helps each other out.
“It’s about feeling like you belong to a team or a group, seeing the potential in everybody. It’s getting that community environment – and a child does better when they are brought up by a community.”