Darren Driscoll built the Sanctuary Lakes MILO in2CRICKET centre out of nothing. We talk to him about how he did it, and why he wants to help out kids other than his own.
People continually gripe that computers and video games are taking over the lives of Aussie kids when back in the ‘good old days’ a game of backyard cricket could keep them entertained for hours. However, there’s few people actively doing anything about it.
Darren Driscoll is bucking that trend. The father of two created the Milo in2CRICKET centre at Sanctuary Lakes from scratch at the beginning of the 2010 season.
“The main reason I got in to it is because my oldest son was playing Milo cricket,” Darren said. “He was playing at the Point Cook Milo in2CRICKET centre. I could see the numbers growing (at the Point Cook centre) and the need for a second centre, but no one was putting their hand up.”
Ironically it was Darren’s neighbour who ran the Point Cook centre and was looking for someone to take over. But Darren, who had volunteered coaching at kids’ sports clinic before, wanted to start a second, stand-alone centre at Sanctuary Lakes.
“It was a lot of work initially,” Darren admitted. However luckily a lot of the skills from his sales and marketing job were transferrable to the in2CRICKET role. “I am very goal oriented, and driven to reach targets, such as number of enrolments,” he said.
In its first year of operation, the Sanctuary Lakes Milo in2CRICKET centre recorded 117 participants, backing that up in the 2011 season with a further 100 participants.
“I expect to have a minimum of 100 (participants) this year,” Darren said. “I’ve already had a dozen or so new enquiries from people who didn’t do the program last year.”
Due to the success of the Sanctuary Lakes in2CRICKET centre, Darren is now in the process of establishing the Sanctuary Lakes Cricket Club, as a pathway for local kids to continue playing cricket once they have finished the Milo Have A Go and Have A Game programs. For its inaugural season in 2012, Darren is aiming to have two Under 11 teams, however in two to three years he hopes the club will have more teams across a broader range of age divisions.
The Sanctuary Lakes Cricket Club will play their home matches at Featherbrook Oval in Point Cook, the same location as the Sanctuary Lakes Milo in2CRICKET centre.
Darren is passionate about the valuable role sport can play in kids’ lives, as well as making sport more accessible to the local community. “There are a massive amount of kids that are missing out,” he explained. “There are not a lot of things for kids to do out here. It’s (Milo in2CRICKET) good for me and my kids, and also good for other people’s kids. They’re not sitting on the couch or out graffitiing the streets.”