The West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) will be hosting its fourth series of workshops starting Monday, September 26, 2016. The first workshop will be held with the West Indies women who are presently in a training camp for their home-series against England, which will consist of five ODIs between October 8 and 19. Workshops will also be conducted with the six regional franchises beginning in the pre-season and leading up to the fifth round of the 2016/2017 Professional Cricket League (PCL) season. In light of WIPA’s vision to facilitate a stable, credible and endearing environment that safeguards the promotion, development, and sustainability of the sport in the region, these workshops serve as part of the association’s thrust to facilitate total player development, improving members on and off the cricket field.
In September 2014, The West Indies Players’ Association introduced the Player Development & Welfare Programme (PDW) as an extension to their mandate. In addition to serving the association’s members through advice and legal or non-legal representation, WIPA implemented a programme tailored specifically to the welfare of their members. The Player Development & Welfare Programme is divided strategically into three (3) key areas:
- Dual Transitions & Aspirations: Dual Transitions & Aspirations speaks to Career Development and Educational Support for players. As part of the ‘Educational Support’ module, WIPA established partnerships with educational institutions across the Caribbean through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The University of The West Indies Open Campus, the GC Foster College in Jamaica, and Quality Academics in Jamaica. These partnerships will aid in assisting cricketers to achieve academically, just as they have achieved in their employment in cricket. Opportunities range from CXC, CSEC, or GCE O’Levels to Certificates, Diplomas, Associate Degrees, Bachelors Degrees, and Masters Degrees programmes in a wide range of areas. Each course is tailored for the student’s schedule. Moreover, the cost of the programme is covered by WIPA. However, there are limited spaces available each year and so we encourage members to signal their interest as soon as possible.
- Player Lifestyle Support: Player Lifestyle Support speaks to the overall well-being of players. WIPA aims to assist players in creating and maintaining a balance emotionally, psychologically, physically, and health wise.
- Cricket Career: WIPA’s goal is to guide and monitor players towards professionalism. In this module, WIPA will educate players about the expectations of a professional cricketer, the business of cricket, anti-corruption in the sport, handling contracts and support staff etc.
The Player Development & Welfare Programme falls under WIPA’s Education, Training & Development committee, which is chaired by Dr. Joel Warrican, Director of Academic Programming and Delivery, Commonwealth of Learning Chair (Open and Distance Learning), The University of West Indies Open Campus. Since 2014, there have been three series of workshops organized and conducted by the association. Players’ Resource Officers (PROs) from Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago travelled and administered workshops to various teams across the region. The topics presented and discussed included:
- Career Development – An exploration of careers and investments, and a presentation on Life after Cricket.
- Educational Support – WIPA’s MOU with educational institutions and the opportunities available.
- An Introduction to WIPA and the PDW Programme
- Anti-doping & Health – The Anti-doping code, and the health dangers of doping
- Anti-corruption – Match fixing in cricket and its ramifications
- Media & Public Relations – Communication, and WIPA’s Social Media policy
- The History of West Indies Cricket:
- Cricket and Colonialism
- Cricket and Nationalism
- Cricket and Globalization
- Communication and Logistics
- WICB Sponsorship and Obligations
- MOUs and Education
In addition to the Player Development & Welfare Programme, in October of 2014, WIPA conducted a Level 1 Certification Course in collaboration with Cricket Australia. The workshop was held at the Kensington Cricket Club, Kingston, Jamaica, and was conducted by Mr. Darren Holder, High Performance Coach Development Manager at Cricket Australia. The course was aimed at providing members with the opportunity to kick-start a possible career in coaching by learning the basic coaching skills. Practical and theory sessions were conducted, and all successful members of the course were certified Level 1 coaches.
Undoubtedly, WIPA will continue to educate cricketers about important topics that will contribute to their personal development. The association is currently in dialogue with other universities and community colleges across the Caribbean to establish partnerships that will assist a greater number of members across the region to have convenient access to the educational opportunities being provided. We continue to endeavor to create a positive environment for members to contribute gallantly to West Indies Cricket.