Cricket LeapStart will fund a tour to New Zealand this summer for a few promising school cricketers

For a group of school children, this summer holiday will be like no other. Playing sports in the neighbourhood is a good way to spend time at the end of an academic year, but spending two weeks in New Zealand to play competitive cricket will make the vacations a whole lot sweeter.

LeapStart, a sports and physical education company, will fund a tour to New Zealand this summer, for a few promising school cricketers from around India. In 2012, seven young footballers pounced on the opportunity to train at Tottenham, England, and to interact with accomplished coaches there.

“Parents usually say education takes priority (over sport), and this is something we face. But unless we give people the opportunity to see the importance of sport, this change in mindset will not happen,” says Dev Roy, Founder and Managing Director of FitKids Education and Training, which operates under the LeapStart brand.

Roy, who in 2007 became the youngest Managing Director of Barclays Capital (London) when he was appointed to the post at the age of 35, draws examples from his time at England to highlight the importance of sport. “Before moving to India in 2009, when I was at Barclays, kids came to us for job interviews from Oxford or Cambridge University. Some of them had a ‘blue tie’, which you get if you play a sport for your university. I found that that these smart, academically qualified students did very well when they came on to the trading floor, or to investment banking. This is because sport taught these guys how to take defeat, and how to return the next day and try hard once again.”

The LeapStart Cricket League, an All-India inter-school cricket tournament, will serve as the audition for the chance to travel to New Zealand. In support of the exercise, Indian fast bowler Abhimanyu Mithun arrived as the Chief Guest for the prize distribution ceremony after the final.