Former Sussex cricket chief to boost sport at Brighton and Hove academies

Posted On 16 Dec 2013 at 7:59 pm

A leading cricket boss has joined the sports team working with two academy schools in Brighton and Hove.

The appointment of David Brooks, former chief executive of Sussex County Cricket Club, is expected to lead to the setting up of an ambitious football academy.

It is likely to modelled along the lines of the Aldridge Cricket Academy which took its first pupils in September.

Mr Brooks is the new chairman of the Aldridge Foundation Sports Development Steering Group.

The Aldridge Foundation runs two schools in Brighton and Hove – the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) in Falmer and the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) in Mile Oak.

Last year the foundation set up the Aldridge Cricket Academy, a partnership between the two schools as well as the Sussex Cricket Board and Sussex County Cricket Club.

It provides integrated A-Level and cricket development courses for sixth form students.

Rod Aldridge

Rod Aldridge

The latest signing underlines a wider sporting ambition on the part of the Aldridge Foundation.

In September Simon Funnell, the former cricket development manager at Sussex CCC, became the Aldridge academies’ first joint director of sport.

His job is to lead the development of similar specialist sports courses and performing arts courses across both schools.

The Aldridge Foundation said that the former Sussex fast bowler John Spencer joined the Sports Development Steering Group last year.

After his playing career ended Mr Spencer became the head of cricket and later deputy head at Brighton College.

And Alexia Walker, the England cricket international who played more than 100 times for Sussex, was recruited as the Aldridge Cricket Academy’s director of cricket. She previously held the same post at Brighton College.

Sir Rod Aldridge, who set up the Aldridge Foundation, said: “The appointment of David Brooks is another significant step in our plans to offer all students in the city and from across Sussex the kinds of opportunities to combine top class coaching and facilities with academic study that have traditionally only been available in fee-paying public schools.

“We are developing plans for additional sports academies including football, golf, netball and mountain biking as well as one for dance.

“All will follow the framework of the cricket academy and will have head coaches. Students will also gain coaching and refereeing qualifications in their disciplines if they are sport-related.

“We are committed to further developing our campuses to support Simon’s work with us and to offer our communities and local clubs access to great sports facilities.

“David will lead a steering group charged with the responsibility of advising on and delivering sporting facilities at BACA and PACA that will be among the best in the city.

“This will start with the development of the cricket facilities at BACA to be of premier league standard.”

Mr Brooks said: “I am really excited to have been invited by Sir Rod to help guide the sporting provision at the academies.

“While at Sussex Cricket we supported the birth of the cricket academy and so to have the opportunity to continue that development now by supporting a very talented team to deliver excellent sports buildings is a real thrill.

“It fits perfectly with my passion for a sporting chance offering everyone better opportunities in life.

“The projects we have in mind are challenging and I am committed to making sure we deliver those facilities to the best possible standard at the most efficient cost.

“We want these facilities to be the best facilities available to any school in Sussex and to help the academies develop their students in all aspects of their education.”

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