Insports/JCA partner to rebuild cricket baseTuesday, September 07, 2021
THE Jamaican government through their sporting arm, the Institute of Sports (Insports), is partnering with the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) to revive one of the nation's greatest pastimes with a view to not only benefit the country, but the region.
After a one-month talent search, conducted by Insports in conjunction with the JCA, 32 young cricketers have been selected to be prepared to represent the island at the Under-15 level next year.
Speaking at a press briefing at the mecca of cricket on the island, the world-famous Sabina Park, Minister of Sports Olivia Grange explained in detail why it is that her ministry found it necessary at this time to throw its support behind the game at the grass roots level.
“Through the Institute of Sports, we want to give new life to cricket. And where do you start? You start with the nursery. You start with the young ones.
“We have not been doing so well in West Indies cricket, we have our challenges. We do have some great moments but we have not been doing as well, and I recognise that there is a need to resuscitate and start at the base.”
The long-term goal is to be able to replicate in cricket what happens in our very successful track and field programme.
“We are investing in the children and hope to build a nursery from that stage up. If you notice, in track and field we do well because the track and field programme is a very dynamic, active programme in the schools.
“So, we feel that it is our responsibility as Government, through Insports…that we need to invest, and so we have put our money where our mouth is.
“We are investing $12.3m in our young people and partnering with the Jamaica Cricket Association, which is the organisation that is responsible for cricket. We are partnering with them to invest in our young people, to build that nursery and to build that cradle so that the future will be more promising.”
With the talent search now complete, the focus will be on preparation to make them become the “Next Gen” players.
“What we are doing now, we are working with those 32 youngsters over the next year. Coach them, nurture them; do all that is necessary towards their development, their nutrition – all that is required to build a young sportsman and sportswoman.
“We are not just investing in the boys, we are investing in the girls. And we are not only investing in relation to this partnership, but we are also investing at the primary school level,” Minister Grange explained.
President of the JCA Billy Heaven explained that the Insports initiative complemented their own programme, which they refer to as TIP.
“We came up with some initiatives, chief among them is the TIP, which is a Talent Identification Programme throughout the country, though all our clubs. That complements the Insports programme, albeit at different age groups, and it also involved male and female cricketers.
“Nobody builds the house around the roof, and if we do not get the foundation level right, we will not see the success that we want, neither the sustainability,” said Heaven.
— Dwayne Richards