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Some of sport's biggest stars are sharing what they’ve learned about how to be their best

Peter Rolfe, August 27, 2019 6:45PM Herald Sun

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Luke, 7, Mieka, 8, Vlad, 9 and Mia, 10 from South Melbourne Park Primary School with cricketers Will Pucovski and Meg Lanning at the MCG. Picture: Jason Edwards media_cameraLuke, 7, Mieka, 8, Vlad, 9 and Mia, 10 from South Melbourne Park Primary School with cricketers Will Pucovski and Meg Lanning at the MCG. Picture: Jason Edwards


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Kids across the country are about to get some big tips from our top cricket stars — but it won’t be about how to hold a bat, bowl a ball or take a catch.

The sports stars will be helping students learn how to be the happiest and healthiest they can possibly be.

It’s part of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Schools Program, which was launched yesterday, and includes videos from Australian and international cricketers to help kids learn skills for physical, spiritual*, social, emotional and cognitive* wellbeing.

It also celebrates inspirational women and girls.

England v Australia - 1st Vitality Women's IT20 media_cameraMeg Lanning celebrates her century during the England v Australia IT20 match on July 26 in Chelmsford, England. Picture: Getty Images

Cricketers Meg Lanning, Will Pucovski and Elyse Villani took students from South Melbourne Park Primary School in Victoria through the program in a once-in-a-lifetime class at the MCG on Tuesday.

Aussie cricket captain Lanning said it is hoped the program would help teach kids that there is more to life than school and sport.

“It’s important to look after yourself both on and off the field in terms of your emotional wellbeing and cognitive wellbeing so I think it’s a really good education program to get kids thinking about that,’’ she said.

Australian player Elyse Villani, a schoolteacher before becoming a professional cricketer, said bringing health and wellbeing into the school space was “vitally important’’ to help build resilience* and balance.

“I wish it was around when I was at school,’’ she said.

Australia v England - ICC Women's World T20 2018: Final media_cameraMeg Lanning and Elyse Villani celebrate during the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 Final between Australia and England on November 24, 2018 in Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda. Picture: Getty Images

Rising Victorian cricket star Pucovski said teaching wellbeing skills to children was “awesome’’.

He said schools are doing a great job helping the overall development of young people, rather than just “academics* and marks”.

“ … obviously life is a bit more important than that.’’

Students taking part in the program will learn about the cultures of the competing teams as well as practical project management skills through building their own T20 World Cup.

ICC T20 World Cup Local Organising Committee CEO Nick Hockley said the program was world class.

“We’ve worked with education experts, teachers and Australian Cricket to design a world-class schools program, freely accessible to every school in Australia,’’ he said.

The schools’ program is free for teachers to use and is designed for primary and secondary students aged 5-16.

The Women’s and Men’s T20 World Cups will be staged in eight Aussie cities next year, with both finals at the MCG.

Teachers can register for the program from August 28 at


  • spiritual: to do with the human spirit and beliefs about life
  • cognitive: to do with thinking
  • resilience: ability to recover quickly from difficulty
  • academics: used to mean traditional school learning of facts, rather than more practical life lessons


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  1. What are the five types of wellbeing mentioned?
  2. Who is the captain of the Australian women’s cricket team?
  3. Where did the primary school kids go for their lesson with the cricketers?
  4. What did Elyse Villani do before she became a professional cricketer?
  5. What country is hosting next year’s T20 cricket world cup?


1. Building the whole person
This new schools’ resource to accompany the T20 World Cup cricket tournament in 2020 aims to teach more than just sport. It aims to help kids learn skills for physical, social, emotional, spiritual and cognitive wellbeing.

Draw up a table with three columns and five rows. In the column on the left, list the five types of wellbeing mentioned. In the next column, define each of these terms. In the column on the right, suggest which hobbies, sports or other activities could help you learn these skills.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education, Personal and social, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension
Rising Victorian cricket star Will Putovski states in the article that “… obviously life is a bit more important than that” when referring to school just being about marks and academics. Take a moment to reflect on what is important in your life. Complete a gratitude diary entry stating the following things. This is for your use only, you won’t be asked to show anyone or share.

  • What skills and abilities are you most thankful for?
  • What are you taking for granted about your day-to-day life that you could be thankful for?
  • What activities, hobbies or sports would you miss if you were unable to do them?
  • What’s the last kind thing you remember someone doing for you?
  • What food or meals are you most thankful for?
  • Write about the time you last laughed uncontrollably, tell the story …

You might like to buy a journal and write about things you are grateful for each day to remind yourself how lucky you are and sometimes you might take things for granted.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education, Personal and social

After reading the article, with a partner, highlight all the openers you can find in blue. Discuss if they are powerful and varied openers or not. Why do you think the journalist has used a mix of simple and power openers? Would you change any, and why?

HAVE YOUR SAY: What area of health or wellbeing would you like to know more about or improve? Why would professional athletes be good people to help kids improve their health and wellbeing?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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