Dakota Collegiate added a cricket batting cage to their school yard, but to the community, it's more than just an after-school activity.

Cricket is already a major part of Dakota Collegiate. Many students are from countries where cricket is as important to them as hockey is to Canada. That's why Jill Mathez, principal at Dakota, says this is more than just a school facility.

"Many of the students have had to travel up to an hour and a half on bus to get to Assiniboine Park . . . to practice there," said Mathez. "You can [now] come by any night and you'll see families out at the cage practicing."

Mathez said a couple weeks ago she saw some recent alumni practicing cricket in the tennis court. "I said 'why aren't you guys in the cricket cage' and they said 'it's being used'." Mathez said it was full of families from the community.

"It's a message that we're saying to our community that we value who you are and what you're about," Mathez said. "You're bringing something into our community that is only going to make us a stronger community."

Dakota Collegiate wants to be a welcoming and inclusive school, which includes adding a cricket team, a sport which grows every year in Manitoba. Mathez says the school will continue to support the community and invite those who want to practice into the cage.