Aug 11, 2008 Sports Comments Off on MSC Mind Programme begins at Thomas Lands club
By Sean Devers
While there is still plenty of natural talent, the lack of mental fortitude among our young cricketers continues to undermine their ability to perform consistently at a high level.
And while many lament our players’ inability to concentrate for long periods and remain composed in pressure situations, the Malteenoes Sports Club (MSC) is putting measures in place to arrest the psychological dilemma which is plaguing Guyana and West Indies cricket.
Under the Presidency of Lance Hinds, MSC is not sitting on its laurels of an outstanding year on the cricket field at both first and second division levels last year.
The Thomas Lands institution, which was founded in 1902, has embarked on the ‘MSC Mind Programme’ in an effort to hopefully contribute ‘well rounded’ individuals to the Georgetown, Demerara, National and West Indies cricket teams.
The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) and MSC have collaborated to use Chess as a tool for the mental development of the club’s under-15 cricketers as a component of the ‘Mind Programme’ and GCF President Errol Tiwari said he was pleasantly surprised at the level of receptiveness displayed by the 22 youths who are attending the two-hour Chess classes at the MSC Pavilion every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“They have learnt a lot since this programme commenced last Monday and I am actually surprised at the interest they have shown for Chess. We will continue to teach them for a long as it takes for them to be able to play by themselves,” Tiwari, who has been involved in Chess for over three decades, noted.
Tiwari is being assisted by GCF executive member Shiv Nandalall and their aim is not only to improve the concentration prowess among the teenagers but to also produce competitive Chess players who will be a part of a proposed National Schools championship by year-end.
“Sports Minister Dr Frank Anthony is very interested in the development of Chess and we are optimistic that we could soon be back in the reckoning at the International level after an absence of over 20 years by Guyana at competitions,” Tiwari informed.
He commended MSC for the initiative and opined that not only should it help them to be more focused when they play cricket but it could also produce a few future Guyanese International Chess stars.
MSC, who also participated in Football, Hockey and Table Tennis in the past, is hoping to form a Chess team which can represent the club in indoor events like their Dominoes team does. Plans are in the pipeline to also form a Scrabbles team since the Guyana Association of Scrabble Players use the club’s facilities to host most of their competitions.
“While this Chess Programme is basically to help the youngsters think on their feet, we plan to maybe host a few Chess competitions in the future as we strengthen our indoor sports programme,” Hinds said.
“The MSC Mind Programme is intended to develop a sense of logical thinking in the participants along with fostering the concept of listening to others and their view points. This programme will also teach them to even look at and defend positions that are not necessarily their own,” Hinds stated.
The ‘Mind Programme’ which caters for approximately 60 under-15 cricketers, is a combination of a process that will start with the participants being divided into ‘Houses’ each with a Captain and House Leader.
Impromptu speaking sessions and competitions as a House or as a whole are also a part of the Mind Programme on Monday afternoons and among the topics to be discussed are Health/ drugs in Sport, Sports as a Profession, Social issues affecting youths and the wider community, Personal finances, Club Issues and Interpretation of the Laws of the Game.
Mind Games such as Checkers, Draughts, Scrabble, Dominoes, and Chess, along with Table Tennis, Sport Skills and Cricket Trivia will be contested among the Houses for the Ferdinand Archer Shield at the end of each year.
“The concept is to develop the intellectual capacities of the players and to foster team work in an attempt to arrest the trend of seemingly brainless cricket that some have identified as being the attitude that is hampering our continued success as players and fans,” Hinds pointed out.
The MSC President also hopes that members can return to the days when the club was your second home and players and members would sit and discuss cricket after a practice session in the afternoons or members would invite their friends for a drink during practice sessions or during weekend matches.
“We are basically a cricket club but we want to see more social interaction at the club where not only club members can feel welcome being at Malteenoes in the evenings. Everyone, including the cricketers needs to work as a team if clubs are to survive in these changing times and we as officials have to work hard to find ways of getting more people to visit and join clubs and to support fund raising activities as was the case in the past,” Hinds said.
The motto of MSC is ‘Our Youth Our Future’ and the club is well aware that for the future of the club to be bright the youths of today must be developed into well-rounded sportspersons who value the importance of belonging to the club and understand their contribution towards keeping the club’s flag flying proudly.
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