By Sean Devers
Guyana and Windies player Tremayne Smartt started Coaching after she joined Tucber Park/Bermine Cricket Club which had as much as fifty U-13, 15, 17, and U-19 youngsters as well as females, second and first division cricketers practicing and playing.
“I began coaching to help out, which I found satisfying. I later went on to do the level 1 coaching course and in 2019 the level 2 course.
I am always glad to share my knowledge especially in trying to get more young females and males interested and skilled enough, it is also satisfying to see both male and female go on to play for Berbice, Guyana and West Indies,” said Smartt.
Romario Shepherd is the first player from Tucber Park team to play ODIs for West Indies.
Smartt believes that if more youngsters get involved in sports and learn the meaning of discipline the better their chances of not getting involved in trouble will be.
Smartt advised young girls who want cricket as a career to see it as a dream of wanting be a cricketer, but cautioned that a career in cricket will only be for a short time.
“They will be downfalls at any given time because cricket is a team sport and it all depends on performance and your faith is in hands of selectors.
Work hard and it will happen but don’t forsake your education, try to keep a balance so you can get a good job to assist you. Cricket is there for a time but getting a good job to backup is always a better career,” Smartt added.
“Female cricket has come long way but a lot more is needed for female cricket to reach the peak in this country or even in the Caribbean. We are way behind in terms of development.
The men have long had the spotlight, but our Windies women have shown that they too have a right to be acknowledged. Having won the ICC Women’s World T20 title in 2016,” Smartt advocated.
The Berbician Coach suggests that more developmental programmes be implemented, to ensure the pool of women cricketers widens for the progress of the women’s game in the region.
Smartt continued, “Yes, we know that female cricket would not generate the funds like our male counterparts, or bring big crowds to the grounds. But first we must start by taking small steps to improve it by creating a programme for females to be paid to train all year like our male counterparts locally. The same can be done in the Caribbean.
Set programmes for them to keep them active during out of season. Pay coaches to oversee or ensure those programmes are being done. By paying the females, I am sure a lot of young girls will be more interested to play and help to evolve the game in Guyana and in the other Caribbean countries.
Stage more women’s cricket in various countries to help with the fitness and overall development of women’s cricket skills. Make the necessary changes to have our top women cricketers play in our male second division cricket set up.
Have more schools’ programmes involving coaching in both primary and secondary schools. Go in to different villages and areas around the country and do spot talent programmes, publish it in newspapers and various social media and I am sure we will spot or on unearth lots more or a very talented pool of players.”
Smartt gives as much assistance as she can at Tucber Park, by giving her time to help the youths develop in the New Amsterdam area.
“I would assist those in times of need with passage to help them go play the game they love and give cricket clothes to those who are in need of it for training, we all know a lot of cricketers are talented but it is very taxing for some to get certain things to play the game they love.
Recently I did a little charity to help out in this trying times of covid-19 for children at home in my area. I always believe in giving no matter how little you have, making positive difference in the lives of others no matter who they are,” stressed Smartt.
According to Coach Smartt, the general standard of women’s cricket in Guyana is low but at a stage where all is not lost.
“We have the talent in the country. I went to Kwakwani for the first time and there was a cricket camp going on. Some of girls I saw in that village are good and can play for Guyana if they get some assistance to come out to take part in the cricket.
One of them was a National footballer but she had good skills to become a good cricketer. We need to put things in place to help develop women’s Cricket in the country, more coaching programmes being done in remote areas and other parts of country. Provide incentives for females at Inter-county level which is only once a year and that’s the only event these girls are training for.
By doing that I am sure that would encourage the girls to take the game of cricket more seriously. Give prizes as incentives to winning teams along with the trophy because if we look at the broader perspective we train the entire year to play just inter-county.
What is there for these girls to be motivated or get even hungry for the game they love?” asked Smartt.
My wish is that women are paid a stipend at local level and give women’s cricket more publicity so that the public and businesses can understand what’s going on.
Doing that would maybe encourage more support for us in the future. Staging more women’s cricket in various regions in the Caribbean throughout the year to help with the overall development of women’s cricket skills, for women’s cricket to evolve more all over the Caribbean. More young girls and women need to come out to play the game to help provide a wider pool of players.
To improve the situation, we need to create a similar programme like the men franchise set up, more games throughout the year, better organized coaching programmes in schools and identify players and keep them together to help improve their skills,” Smartt said.
“Covid-19 has brought about changes in our life of how we would normally go about doing things at home and in public.
It plays a big part in how we go about training and not staying close to each other in this pandemic which brings a loss of funds worldwide.
But covid-19 made itself the number one thing in everyone’s life at this time and we need to be each other keepers because our life’s depends on each other no matter who you are or what races you are.
It brings about that one word we need to live in ‘unity’ and help each other to fight this covid19 pandemic together,” Smartt emphasized.
“As cricketers the least we could do is find a little space to keep training and without coming in contact with a lot of people. It will bring about change in how we celebrate a dismissal. Our cultures in Guyana and Caribbean, we love our celebration but we must trust in our God and keep the faith and ask him to end this through prayers from everyone.
I am not aware of any programmes for the girls due to the COVID-19 break but generally in female cricket you are on your own to get things done, so it’s all left upon us to be a self-motivated and self-disciplined person. If you want to move forward or get to highest level of this sport in this country,” said Smartt, whose favourite cricketer is Virat Kholi.
“The main people that helped me as a coach and as a cricketer are my Tucber Park Manager Carl Moore, Mr Hyles, Mr Winston Smith and presently at my club, Julian Moore,” Smartt concluded.
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