Ocean Bartlett is one of Smash Play’s Youth Ambassadors - featuring in a range of training games and other fun content for rangatahi.
Ocean is one of New Zealand’s most exciting young spin bowlers – representing New Zealand U19 Women, NZ Māori Schoolgirls, and debuting for the Central Hinds at just 17 years old.
Originally hailing from the Waikato, Ocean moved to Aitutaki Cook Islands when she was seven, spending three years there before moving to the Wairarapa.
Ocean was a “late comer” to cricket – spending her childhood playing as many sports as possible, including; Softball, Volleyball, Swimming and Netball.
Ocean is now studying at the University of Canterbury, juggling her love for cricket with a double degree (Bachelor of Laws & Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sociology and minoring in Te Reo Māori).
Hear from Ocean below as she explains the Smash Play programme through her eyes!
What do you love about Smash Play youth – rangatahi?
Smash Play youth - rangatahi is an incredible initiative that empowers, inspires and uplifts rangatahi.
I am particularly enjoying my involvement in Smash Play youth-rangatahi because of its simplicity and inclusivity. The programme captures basic concepts of cricket in an accessible way, making it easy for newcomers to enjoy the game. Moreover, Smash Play brings everyone together, creating an environment for rangatahi with a range of skills to thrive.
Smash Play youth - rangatahi provides games that are easy to follow and require minimal equipment. Growing up I wasn’t particularly drawn to the intricacies of cricket; my focus was on getting stuck into sport and having a fun time with mates - which is definitely the Smash Play way.
What games or challenges do you recommend from the programme?
I found the ‘Level Up Challenges’ enjoyable because they were simple to set up and could be played with a small group. This makes it easy to grab a few mates and have some fun!
What is your advice to coaches of youth cricketers, and secondary school teachers?
My advice to youth coaches and secondary schools is to prioritise an approach that is inclusive.
While skill-building is important, giving greater importance to life skills such as teamwork, communication and resilience will be more beneficial to our rangatahi in the future.
Many rangatahi might not be enthusiastic about fitness, therefore by integrating these games into training session or PE classes offers a dual benefit of enjoyment and physical activity.
Check out the range of training games, modified formats and youth ambassador content by visiting www.smashplay.nz.