KINGSTON, Jamaica– The West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) has partnered with Wray and Nephew to deliver a 2-Day Coaching Clinic as part of the SDC National Community T20 Cricket Competition.
The clinic took place at the Kensington Cricket Club, Rollington Town, Kingston, Jamaica on Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4. WIPA facilitated 16 coaches from the competition and coached on the technical aspects of the game in batting, bowling and fielding. Importantly, the clinic also examined leadership and people-management which are also important to the game as a whole. Robert Samuels, Nikita Miller, Cassius Burton and Wavell Hinds were a few of the facilitators. SDC ambassador Tamar Lambert was also in attendance.
WIPA believes one of the ways we can help to develop West Indies cricket and by extension the region is by engaging in cricket development programmes at the grassroots level. As such WIPA operates our own cricket development programme, WIPA in the Community (WIC). WIPA in the Community teaches the technical aspects of the game along with valuable life skills. The programme began in Trinidad in 2008 and operates in primary and secondary schools in the south west. WIC Trinidad currently engages 24 schools from La Brea, Point Fortin, all the way to Icacos, and involves approximately 2300 students. Approximately 50 coaches currently participate in the programme, who are all from various communities across Trinidad and have all been trained and certified by Cricket West Indies and/or Cricket Australia. In January 2019, WIPA in the Community Jamaica was launched. As such, WIPA has regular coaching sessions with eight secondary schools in Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine spanning the U-14, U-16 and U-19 programmes.
Over the years we have found that there are a lot of cricketers across the region who are talented and naturally strong and athletic, but need further technical development to take them to the next level. We believe that engaging cricketers at the grassroots level is a good avenue to contribute to the technical development in the region, but importantly as well, we hope our involvement in community will help to make a difference in our societies.
One of the reasons this partnership with Wray and Nephew is valuable is that it allows access to a wider pool of people. There’s often a lot of talent that is not unearthed because not everyone will go through the traditional systems and not all schools have a cricket programme and so this gives us an opportunity to have greater reach.
We believe sport is a great social intervention tool; we believe we can use cricket as an avenue to shape minds and to improve the quality of life for the people of the West Indies.