By Sean Devers
Yesterday in a packed Malteenoes pavilion, Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Sports, Dr George Norton reconfirmed that this Administration fully supports any programme that helps to empower Youths.
The Honourable Minister was speaking to the close to 100 students, their parents and the Media in the feature address at the opening of the two-week Malteenoes Cricket Academy which began yesterday.
“I want to wholeheartedly commend the Malteenoes Sports club for its staunch dedication to this initiative and such large numbers in so many females turning out today,” said Dr Norton.
“We all know this Academy has contributed to the grooming of some of the country’s best Cricketers ….Men and Women… who have done Guyana proud at home and abroad,” said Minister Norton whose son is a former National Youth leg-spinner.
Among those produced by the Academy which inaugurated in 1993, are Ramnaresh Sarwan, Ryan Ramdass and West Indies women’s Indomattie Goordial who went on to play Test Cricket.
Norton noted that he was impressed by the depth of the programmes which are not only about teaching cricket techniques.
“I am happy to know that you will be addressing issues like Child safety and Protection, hygiene, etiquette and social skills. These sessions will lend in no small way to the holistic development of the participants,” Dr Norton pointed out.
Minister Norton said he was impressed that the Academy will not only be grooming future cricketing stars but also Umpires, Journalists, Broadcasters and even Scorers.
“I want to encourage you to grasp all that is taught to you and make yourselves, your families, the Academy and the entire Country proud. It is my hope that all of the Academy’s lessons will convey the underlining message of love for humanity and the importance and beauty of diversity…especially in a local context,” the Minister concluded.
Also speaking at the opening of the Academy, which began with the saying of the National Pledge, was past President and former First-Class batsman Neil Barry, who provided a brief history of the Academy, Head Coach of the Academy, National U-17 Coach Orin Bailey and Vice-Presidents Debra McNichol and ex-National youth cricketer Shawn Holder.
The Academy has attracted close to 100 students from age 6-18 and runs from 09:00hrs to 15:00hrs with Lunch being provided from 12:30hrs to 13:30hrs.
A special fund has been set up for 28 less fortunate children to attend free by three overseas club members.
Sessions are divided into U-13s and 13-18 and registration ($3,000) close tomorrow or when 120 participants are registered, which comes first.
The boys and girls began with the Coach conducting outdoor work at the National Park Tarmac and the TSC tarmac since the MSC was soggy due to overnight rain.
Today an Anti-drug talk will be done by the Anti-drug depart, the Academy is expected to be visited by some West Indies players before coaching sessions by Bailey and Former West Indies pacer Reon King.
Tomorrow there will be a talk on cricket which will be done by internationally acclaimed cricket commentator Reds Perriera, a talk on a Green Economy by the Ministry of Communities and Coaching by Bailey and Guyana Jaguars Head Coach Esuan Crandon.
Thursday there will the conclusion of the talk on a Green Economy and a session on public speaking by an action Coach and Coaching by Bailey and First-Class cricketer Steven Jacobs.
On Friday there will be a lecture on Scoring by International scorer Bharat Mangru and Coaching sessions by Bailey and King.
The Academy will break for the weekend before resuming on Monday for the final week.
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