Sixty (60) primary school boys and girls upgraded their cricket skills in the 9th annual training initiative for young cricketers hosted by the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) and LNG production company Atlantic.
This year’s initiative took place from August 27-30 at the Pierre Road Cricket Ground in Charlieville. The children participated in technical sessions in batting, bowling, wicket-keeping, fielding and umpiring, and also took part in a mentorship session on Leadership and Captaincy.
Marlon Grant, Team Lead, Sustainability, Atlantic explained that a key component of the annual initiative was the tutelage from local cricket coaches with international certification.
“The aim of these training camps is to let the children have fun while they receive individual attention from tutors with experience,”” Grant said. “”The tutors on this year’s cricket camp would have received international certification from Cricket Australia, as part of ACE, the Atlantic Coaching Excellence Programme. ACE was set up in 2012 to help primary school coaches meet international standards, and to date over 400 cricket coaches and over 300 football coaches have been trained and certified. All of these initiatives are part of Atlantic’s commitment to invest in youth development through sport.”
Mark Ramkissoon, Administrator of WIPA’s community programmes said that the annual camp capitalized on the children’s availability during the July-August vacation period and their natural enthusiasm for sports.
“Cricket, like any sport is really a tool to help children develop life skills,” Ramkissoon said. “A few may take it to the professional level, but all of them will benefit from programmes like this, where they learn about sportsmanship, teamwork, discipline, leadership and even respect for one another. These qualities will stand them in good stead whatever they do in the future.”
Aidan Lacksingh, 10, first-time participant said that the camp helped him improve all his cricketing techniques. “I’m already looking forward to next year’s camp,” he said.
The four day training camp is a component of WIPA in the Community, a programme facilitated by WIPA and sponsored by Atlantic which aims to improve the cricketing skills of students in Point Fortin and surrounding communities. The programme was established in 2008 with a core group of nine (9) primary schools in Point Fortin. Some 20,000 students have been trained on the programme since inception, and currently 2,300 participants are enrolled, from 23 primary and secondary schools in the South Western peninsula from La Brea to Icacos. The programme’s training sessions take place during the schools’ allocated Physical Education periods, as well as after school, with camps scheduled in the Easter, August and Christmas breaks.