By Sean Devers
The Malteenoes Sports Club was formed in 1902 to facilitate young people from the lower end of the economic strata to hone their sporting talent.
Since then the Thomas Road, Thomas Lands club has produced West Indian players such as Charlie Jones, Glendon Gibbs, Rex Collymore, Barrington Brown, Colin Stuart, Kenneth Wong and female Test player Indomattie Goordial, while Test Players John Trim and Clayton Lambert from Berbice have also played for Malteenoes.
But it was not until 1983, under the Presidency of Claude Raphael, that the club started a Youth section with motto being ‘Our Youth Our Future’.
The youth arm was formed by tapping into the resources of students from the Schools in Thomas Lands under a vibrant programme led by Collymore, who at that time was employed by the Sports Ministry as a Coach.
The MSC began playing in the U-16 and U-19 levels and in 1986 won every youth tournament in Demerara and a year later their players took up half of the places on the 14-member Squad that traveled to Jamaica for the 1987 Regional U-19 three-day cricket tournament.
In 1992, the first ever Cricket Academy in the Caribbean was launched with the understanding the GCB, under Chetram Singh, would have taken it over in two years, but despite this never materializing, the Academy continued to be the feeding ground for youths to develop their skills and over 150 Girls and Boys joined from all over Guyana with those from Berbice and out of ‘town’ being housed on the upper level of the Club for the six-week duration of the Academy which produced several National youth and Senior players with Ramnaresh Sarwan, Colin Stuart, Ryan Ramdass and Goordial going on to play Test cricket.
But although MSC’s Steven Jacobs Captained the West Indies U-19 side, the Academy, mainly due to the lack of funding and interest was shelved for a while before being resurrected on a much smaller scale two years ago.
As MSC’s barren run in producing National U-19 players (Steven Sankar was the last MSC player to play for Guyana since 2013) continues, Western Union, the home of Grace Kennedy Remittance Services, has come on board this year as title sponsor for the Western Union Malteenoes Cricket Academy.
Yesterday at the launching of the 2019 Academy, Vice President of MSC, former National U-19 batsman Shawn Holder provided a brief history of the club and the Academy, while President of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA), former West Indies off-spinner Roger Harper, told the eager looking participants, decked out bright yellow Western Union T-shirts, of the importance of the Academy to their development and said he hoped the weather worked in partnership with the Academy.
Grace Kennedy’s Marketing Assistant, Denis Haywood, explained he was present yesterday in his personal Capacity as someone who had passed through the Academy and in his professional duties representing Western Union ‘the fastest way to send and receive money’ worldwide
“We at Grace Kenney know the importance of sports to the nation and it is our corporate duty to give back and help develop the bodies and minds of our generation next and this Academy should give these youngsters plenty of life skills,” Haywood added.
The activities are not just focused on the cricket, but on personal and educational development which are also equally important.
Building on previous years’ success, activities and training sessions anticipated for 2019’s event are: Etiquette Training, Public Speaking, Anti-Drug Awareness and Interactive and critical thinking sessions.
These are a few of the events that will be administered by Guyana’s finest personnel coupled with cricket development skills from the best coaches and former Guyana players.
During the morning session the ground, which had taken a battering from the rain, was being cut while work was being done on the club’s all-weather Practice facility which has also been affected by the bad weather.
The Academy will conclude on August 9 and runs from Monday to Friday from 09:00hrs to 15:00hrs and caters for males and female between the ages 6-18 years old.
There will be a 15-minute break from 10:00hrs for refreshments and a Lunch break of an hour from noon when Lunch (which is included in the registration fee) will be served.
Registration fees for Girls between the ages 6-12 years cost G$2000, Boys age 6-12 years G$3000, Girls age 12-18 G$3000 and Boys age 12-18 years G$4000.
Dress Code is long track pants and white Tee-Shirts and 70% White Sneakers.
There are still a few spaces available and application Forms are available at Malteenoes Sports Club, Thomas Lands, between the hours 09:00hrs and 18:00hrs daily.
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