The Ace Academy is a charity set up to give members of the black community in London access to Cricket. Whitgift’s Cricket Academy Head Coach, Mr Jackson has been part of this ground-breaking scheme since its inception in January 2020 as one of their lead coaches and mentors to U14s & U19s.
Mr Jackson was initially contacted by the former Surrey Cricket Participation Manager, Mr Green and Surrey County Cricket Club’s (CCC) Academy Director, Mr Townsend, who outlined the vision of the programme. The opportunity to further support the growth of the Sport he loves, in a community he has a strong connection with, was a “no-brainer” for Mr Jackson.
“My home country is Jamaica, and as you can probably imagine, Cricket has and continues to play an important role in my life” explained Mr Jackson. “Many of the participants and parents have strong connections with the Caribbean and as such gives me a feeling of having a small slice of home here in London.”
Whitgift’s 2025 vision encourages students to give back to the community and to explore causes that are personally meaningful to them, and the School equally supports staff involvement in community work. “I’m grateful that Whitgift has been 100% committed to my involvement from the start” he added. “I hope that as the ACE programme increases its presence in the Croydon borough, Whitgift will continue to build their relationship with the Academy.
Earlier this year, Old Whitgiftian and current Surrey CCC professional player Nico Reifer expressed his continued support for the ACE initiative.
For Mr Jackson, a typical week at the Academy would normally involve coaching sessions every Wednesday from 6-10pm at the KIA Oval during Winter and then a mixture of training sessions and fixtures over the Summer period. As with most sporting programmes in 2020/2021; the Academy has adapted to providing weekly online Zoom gatherings for the members which include various Cricket challenges and Q&A sessions with some of the charity’s Ambassadors including former Surrey and England players Alex Tudor and Monte Lynch as well as current West Indies player, Rovman Powell.
Whitgift is delighted to support Mr Jackson in his contribution to the community and to see his efforts and expertise focused on this great initiative.