CRICKET coaches from Jamaica and across the Caribbean region who have been selected by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to participate in the highly anticipated WICB/University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) Cricket Coaching Education programme, began their one-week intense training programme on Monday.
1,500 level 1 cricket coaches to be certified
At the opening ceremony held at Sabina Park, Dave Cameron, president, WICB, said the Cricket Coaching Education Programme (CCEP) is charting a new course in West Indies cricket.
"It will ensure that all physical education and kiddie cricket teachers are formally certified by the WICB and UTech as Foundation Level Coaches," he stated, adding that it will target the training and certification of approximately 1,500 level 1 cricket coaches within the first year, emphasising that the certification will have international recognition.
Cameron said that he was very pleased that the WICB and UTech could participate in such a strategic way for the development of West Indies cricket.
Addressing the group of coaches present, the WICB president admonished them that, "the future of West Indies cricket is in your hands... your role here cannot be overemphasised or compromised".
He noted further that as a board, coaching education remains the top priority of the WICB and the redeveloped training and certification programme will now enable "structure, uniformity, standards and consistency in the delivery of coaching education across the region".
UTech's President Errol Morrison, in his remarks, noted that performance, achievement and excellence in sport cannot happen by chance, but must be underpinned by specific methodology that is researched, put into practice and guaranteed as far as is possible to get the desired results.
He opined that the game of cricket has suffered because of an over-reliance on just "raw talent" which he noted has its limitations in building teamwork and overall performance sustainability. He thanked the WICB for seeing UTech as its logical partner on the programme and assured the gathering that UTech is committed to making a contribution to the development and sustainability of sport through its Faculty of Science and Sport.
Courtney Walsh, former West Indian cricketer, in endorsing the training programme, said, "this is a tremendous occasion in West Indies cricket and a landmark that we have waited for as an important step in passing on the baton".
To the coaches, he emphasised that "the future of West Indies cricket is in your hands in terms of kids that you are coaching and information that you are passing on. Ensure that you are consistent with it and ensure that everything that is done will help the youngsters not only to excel in cricket, but in their way of life as well", he said.
Dr Colin Gyles, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Sport, UTech, in his overview of the programme, noted that the Tutors and Assessors Course which began Monday, is the first offering of the partnership between UTech and the WICB which comprises coaching courses up to the advanced Level 3. He pointed out that the Coaching Education Programme is administered by UTech and will be a fully WICB-accredited programme, will be globally recognised, and will serve as the official Coaching Certification for the West Indies and the Americas.
The CCEP includes:
Foundation Coaching Programme — a three-day programme targeting coaches working with children up to 12 years old.
Level 1 Coaching Programme — certifying coaches to work with youth at the high school level.
Level 2 Coaching Programme — equip coaches to coach national junior/age group teams, senior club and district/county/parish teams.
Tutors and Assessors Coaching Programme
Level 3 Coaching Programme — will equip coaches to coach national senior teams and all West Indies teams — senior and junior and male and female. The Level 3 Programme will be done through an application process.
Each programme will include sports science, academic and technical components and will be graded and assessed on standard systems as designed by UTech and the WICB with assistance and expertise from the England and Wales Cricket Board. There will be a structured syllabus and course outline for each programme which will ensure consistency of delivery throughout the region. The Foundation Coaching Programme will target every physical education teacher and kiddie cricket teacher in the region.
The CCEP has a target of training 1,500 Level 1 coaches across the Caribbean region within the first year of implementation. On completing level 2, coaches will have the option of becoming a tutor in their respective territories or proceed to Level 3 to become certified as an Elite Coach depending on individual interest.
Dr Gyles noted that the decision was taken to begin the certification programme with the tutors course because having trained the tutors they will now be empowered to go into their respective territories to be the main resource person to deliver the Foundation Course as well as the Level 1 Course.
Coaches previously certified by the WICB will need to renew their accreditation by completing specially organised coaching workshops to bridge the gap between previous certification and the CCEP. Upon successful completion the certification will be re-issued.