This coming school holidays, the Scots College is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the Michael Clarke Academy. Michael launched his Academy in a recent event held in the SCG Members pavilion.
In a recent article published on the CricInfo website, Michael outlined his vision for his academy:
Michael Clarke’s short-term goals were made clear this week: regain the No.1 Test ranking after South Africa claimed it back on Monday. His long-term aims are somewhat more grandiose: help Australian cricket move in the right direction “for the next 10, 20, 30 or 40 years”. “I might not be able to help that at all,” he says, “but if I can, I’m going to try.”
That is thinking behind the Michael Clarke Cricket Academy, which Australia’s captain launched in Sydney on Thursday. He describes the concept as “a finishing school for young cricketers”. Yes, they will train like Clarke, following his own personal regime during a five-day camp. Yes, there will be coaches to help them with their on-field skills.
But Clarke wants his academy to provide more than that for the 13- to 18-year-olds likely to form most of the intake. The high standards that Clarke the captain sets within the Australian setup will translate to the academy.
“There’s a lot that I had no idea about when I walked onto the Australian stage,” Clarke said at the launch in Sydney. “To this day I’ve never had media training. I was fortunate I went to a school where I had to wear a tie, so I had to learn how to put a tie on, but there’s guys in the current Australian team that don’t know how to do a tie up.
“I believe the playing part is about 40% of what goes with being an international sportsman these days. I think there’s a lot of stuff from the outside world, media training, speaking in front of people, presenting yourself in the right way, understanding and accepting that if you’re lucky enough to play international sport you are a role model.
“Whether you like it or not, if there’s one boy or girl who looks up to you, then you’re a role model. I think if you can learn that from a young age, you’re in a much better place than getting there and thinking, oh my god, is this what comes with it.”
Notably, the values listed on the academy’s website include the line that “negative attitudes are banned”, and that “if you’re not exhausted both physically and mentally at the end of each day … you’re doing it wrong and we will call you on it”. The standards at Clarke’s academy, as they were in Clarke’s team during the “homework” saga in India last year, will be high.
“I wish I’d had that guidance at a young age, to open my eyes to it,” Clarke said. “I guess probably after being dropped [from the Test team] I realised that a big part of why I got dropped was because my priorities changed. My preparation was no longer my No.1 priority.
“A big part of this is hopefully trying to help these kids learn from my experiences. Hopefully they don’t make the same mistakes. Hopefully they can see things earlier and clearer than what I did.”
Although Clarke’s ultimate goal is to build an academy facility at Berrima in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, for the time being his academy will run from the Scots College Sydney, with the first five-day live-in camp beginning in late September.
For more details on the Michael Clarke Academy please visit michaelclarkeacademy.com