Aldridge Cricket Academy
Working in partnership with Sussex Cricket, Brighton Aldridge Community Academy’s Aldridge Cricket Academy offers unique tailored academy study and cricket development programmes.
Open to male and female cricketers from year 7 through to sixth form, these programmes give students the chance to develop sporting talent and academic qualifications together, rather than having to choose between the two.
Post 16 students from the Aldridge Cricket Academy combine their sixth-form studies at BACA with an intensive cricket development programme. Now in its fifth 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.
Since opening over 100 students have experienced the programme, with graduates progressing onto specialist sports degrees at universities such as Loughborough and Southampton Solent; playing club cricket on contract in Australia and 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 MCC Hub and a community centre for local residents and primary schools.
Building on the success of our sixth form Aldridge Cricket Academy, in 2019 the partnership with Sussex Cricket was extended to launch the BACA Junior Cricket Academy for Year 7 male and female cricketers.
In addition to enjoying a full GCSE academic curriculum and enrichment programme at the Ofsted “GOOD” rated academy Year 7 students on the Junior Cricket pathway benefit from over 4 hours of Specialist Cricket Coaching each week (both in curriculum PE lessons and after-school sessions); 1:1 sessions every half term; Strength & Conditioning Sessions specific to the needs of cricketers; and Competitive indoor and outdoor playing programmes.
In November 2019 BACA was named in the Top 100 schools for cricket in the country 2020 by the Cricketer Magazine, one of only four state secondary schools to achieve that status.