INSPORTS wants JCA dialogue over grassroots roadmap

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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Chairman of the Institute of Sports Newton Amos says the state agency is open to commencing dialogue with the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) regarding the development of the sport at the grass-roots level.

Amos was speaking at the St Catherine Cricket Association/Jamaica Energy Partners Annual Presentation of Awards Ceremony at Arians Restaurant in Spanish Town last Thursday.

With Minister of Sport Olivia Grange and JCA President Billy Heaven present at the function, the INSPORTS chairman said with specialist cricket coaches in Robert Samuels, Robert Haynes and Junior Bennett in its employ, the agency is perfectly positioned to improve the quality of players emerging through the lower levels.

Amos said: “We intend to have a sit down with the governing local cricket body and say to them INSPORTS wants to maximise the skill sets of these exceptional coaches we possess. We want to have them go around the country — like what used to happen 30 years ago — and re-educate coaches at the grass-roots level through several series of workshops and with the objective of improving the knowledge and competencies of these coaches.

“We also want to be a part of a process where our best young talents are frequently engaged in cricket camps within the parishes so whenever these youngsters are called to the national teams at whatever level, the coaches need not be spending time correcting fundamental flaws in each and every player. Those issues must be resolved at the lower level if we want to see West Indies cricket rise to the pinnacle once again.”

He said in the past the Institute of Sports was heavily involved in cricket at the grass-roots which had a fundamental impact on the success of West Indies cricket through to the international level.

He argued that it was very important for the agency to return to such an approach which has the potential to improve the quality of cricket on the field.

“Cricket at the time was king and almost every weekend the Institute of Sports, through its officers based within the parishes, would provide equipment as well as technical and administrative support to these cricket games being played.

“Somewhere along, the Institute of Sports lost its way; however, I am here today to inform you that we have commenced a process to give the sport of cricket the right kind of attention it deserves in keeping with our mandate to promote and develop sport at the grassroots level,” he told the gathering.

“Already this year,” Amos noted, “we have partnered with the Jamaica Cricket Association with its primary school cricket competition by investing some $3 million into that programme.

“But we at INSPORTS recognise that there is much more to be done in playing our part to advance the game in such a way that West Indies cricket will return to the top of world cricket. Let us not fool ourselves: we will not be on top at all times.

“What we can ensure is that wherever our cricketers go they will be very, very competitive to the point where one has to be at such a very high level to have any chance of beating us.”

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