WIPA in the Community (WIC) is a cricket development programme in the South West Peninsula of the island of Trinidad, and is sponsored by Atlantic as one of their sustainability through Sports programmes. Currently the programme involves 24 schools (both primary and secondary) and 2021 students from La Brea, Point Fortin, all the way to Icacos.
The program began in September 2008 with 369 students from 13 schools, and has grown to over 2021 students from 24 schools. This represents a 542% increase in the program. At the beginning, the programme had only 9 certified coaches. To date we have trained and certified 50 coaches with Level 1 and Level 2 WICB & Cricket Australia Certifications. All coaches in the program have also been trained and certified in first aid and CPR. First aid kits have been distributed to all 24 schools in the program as well as to all community coaches to ensure that all schools are properly equipped to respond to and treat injuries if they occur. WIC has distributed Atlantic/WIC branded tees and water bottles to all students. Additionally, the programme has distributed cricket equipment to all 24 schools in the program, providing them with access to high quality cricket equipment.
The Point Fortin Borough League is sponsored by the WIC program, and features 14 cricket clubs from the South West Peninsula. This means that at least 308 people are directly impacted from this sponsorship. (Each club has 2 teams – 11 senior players + 11 junior player x 14 teams). The league also impacts the many residents of the South West Peninsula that attend the matches in support of their village team. WIC has also organized and conducted a Festival cricket match featuring an international WIC team against a Point Fortin Borough team as part of the Borough’s week celebration. At this event, past and present national and international cricketers were able to interact with members of the community.
Camps are also an integral part of the program, at the end of each term a one-week camp is held. Additionally, an eight-week cricket camp is conducted on Saturdays for the elite cricketers in the program. These are players, boys and girls, which demonstrate exceptional ability, and are selected for our touring team. The sessions are held at the James Park Cricket Ground in the Point Fortin area where there is a turf pitch and a cricket net constructed by WIPA. This net facility is open to the public and ensures that everyone has a proper cricket facility where they can practice and develop their skills. Further, WIC facilitates a Coaches Workshop designed to educate, improve and upgrade the coaches in the program. This is held once a month. The aim is to ensure that our coaches are continuously improving and up to date with the most modern coaching techniques.
WIC places focus on core values and life skills that are taught throughout the program. These include values such as honesty, discipline, teamwork etc. The coaches further expand on the core values and life skills whenever there is rain and they are unable to have a session. WIC promotes anti-bullying, and makes certain that all schools in the programme also promote this cause, having recognized that this was a problem in many schools throughout Trinidad.