The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and UNICEF concluded its three-day training of trainers workshop with 20 trainees drawn from the Child Development Agency (CDA).
Communications and child protection specialist Robert Dabney, Jr, and Maureen Webber of Development Options conducted the training sessions at Sabina Park in Kingston recently. The child protection course in youth cricket was conducted under the WICB Fair Play Initiative as a part of the MOU signed between WICB and UNICEF.
The trainers (CDA workers) will be responsible for training coaches and physical education teachers who coach small children.
The training sessions covered a basic understanding of children’s rights, examples of child abuse in various forms such as sexual, mental, physical, verbal including bullying, racial and Internet-based (cyber bullying). It also dealt with how to conduct the training sessions while paying attention to the different learning styles of the coaches. The training took the form of group activities and extensive discussions on various topics relating to the subject matter.
According to Dabney, the WICB was committed to ensuring that every child can participate in the game without being abused. Each trainee was given a ‘Fair Play’ coaching manual for use during the training sessions with the coaches and PE teachers in the schools.
Going forward, anyone who wishes to be trained to coach children will have to first graduate from the child protection in cricket programme, have a valid police certificate and a first aid certificate. The first coaches’ training session will be held on March 10 in Hanover. A minimum of 10 such sessions are planned for this year according to KJ Singh, senior project officer at WICB who is in the island for the roll out of the course.
Courtney Francis, CEO of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), who represented president and WICB director Billy Heaven, welcomed the programme and said that it will have long-term benefits for the country and the sport of cricket.
Janet Quallo of UNICEF Jamaica said that she was happy for the partnership with WICB to deliver a most needed programme for the safety and well-being of the nation’s children.
Rosalee Gage-Gray of the CDA said that she was also happy for the training of the trainers who will become the standard bearers for taking the message across the island. She said that using sport and specifically cricket as the vehicle to carry the message is commendable. She commended the WICB and UNICEF for spearheading the initiative.