May 10, 2023 Sports
Kaieteur News- The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), broke new ground on Saturday, April 29, 2023, with the historic Academy launched in three Committees in Essequibo.
This historic event ushered in the establishment of an essential Youth-Player Development Program under the Essequibo Cricket Board’s administrative structure, in their committee areas of North Essequibo, South Essequibo, and Wakenaam. The launches were held at Walton Ground in North Essequibo, Zorg Ground in South, and Good Success Ground in Wakenamm.
The Academy initiative was outlined in the GCB 5-Year Strategy Plan by the GCB President and executives on their ascension to the GCB office in 2020. The program which required thorough planning, will realize the implementation of eighteen Academy Programs nationwide.
Each of the Essequibo Cricket Board’s affiliate Committees will have an Academy Program. These Committees are North Essequibo, South Essequibo, Wakenaam, Pomeroon, Bartica, Laguan, and East Bank Essequibo.
Similarly, it is intended for the Demerara Cricket Board to have five (5), Academies in their affiliate Associations, of West Demerara, East Bank Demerara, Upper Demerara, Georgetown, and East Coast Demerara. The six (6) Academy locations for Berbice, are West Berbice, New Amsterdam Canje, Lower Corentyne, Central Corentyne/Bushlot, Upper Corentyne, and Berbice River.
The Academy Program will place emphasis on the holistic development of players ages seven years old, to 17 years old, covering technical development and skill acquisition activities, physical fitness, applicable medical fitness assessments, laws of cricket, and appropriate lifestyle guidance including those on diet and nutrition, etiquette, and communication exercises with players on relevant media relations.
The Academy Program will also place emphasis on positive self-concept, discipline, and commitment, the understanding of group dynamics, and the value of teamwork.
The Academy Program will be conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 15:30 hours to 17:30 hours, and on Saturdays from 08:00 hours to 11:00 hours.
Understandably, there may be slight adjustments in the training time to facilitate the unique needs of the individual Academies. The significance of the Academy Program is the Brainchild GCB President Bissoondyal Singh.
At the initial launch at Walton Hall in Essequibo, the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) President, Vice President of GCB, and Director of Cricket West Indies, Deleep Singh commemorated the event by giving open remarks. President Deleep Singh, in his remarks, was adamant that the Academy will play a big role in the rejuvenation of cricket in Essequibo.
He pointed out that the aim of the Academy is to focus on honing the skills of players who may be lacking fundamentals or to further enhance any possible skills that the young cricketers may possess.
President Deleep Singh was high in praise to the GCB President and executives, thanking the GCB for implementing the same program which he viewed as both worthwhile and timely.
Also, the ECB President thanked the coaches, parents, and students (players) for turning out in their numbers to be a part of such a historic event hosted collaboratively by the GCB and ECB.
ECB President Deleep Singh, concluded by reiterating, that the focus of the Academy on the key areas of player development of young players is a huge factor in the effort and drive to nurture and develop the talents of youths ages seven years old to 17 years old, and encouraged the players to make full use of the opportunity.
The GCB’s Territorial Development Officer Colin Stuart during the launch, urged the players across the three Academies to focus not only on the game but also on the process of themselves becoming Pros while giving them insight on how to approach the game.
The ex-West Indies pacer pointed out that while the technical aspects are crucial to the player’s development, the fact that cricket is considered to be played with 90% of the players of mental prowess, heavy emphasis must be placed on players’ abilities to consistently execute tasks well. This consistency must suffice within the varied play conditions that will be presented from match to match within and outside of one’s country.
Further, Stuart called on young players across the respective Academies to, over time show the necessary drivers needed to be a professional cricketer, locally, regionally, and internationally.
He stressed, that outside of the technical aspects of cricket, like batting, bowling, and fielding, the need to execute tasks properly albeit on or off the cricket pitch is essential, as it helps to build one’s professional approach to achieving regular success.
Stuart indicated, to those present at the launch, that the Academy coaches and other suitable personnel will in addition to the technical and physical fitness aspects of the game, address the critical related components of the game on the Laws of cricket, etiquette, player communication with media, sportsmanship, and player commitment.
Additionally, the launches held in Essequibo on Saturday, April 29, 2023, were graced with the presence of ECB executives and several ECB coaches from across Cinderella County, including the likes of ECB Vice-President Elroy Stephney, former national youth Manger Nazeer Mohammed, all of whom appeared overwhelmed with joy by the new doors which are now opened for players in the Essequibo Region. Both Stephney and Mohammed thanked the GCB for their massive support.
The coaches present at the launch noted that with such an Academy platform available, it will be easier for players to refine their abilities by virtue of dedication and training toward attaining set realistic goals that will put them in a better position to perform consistently well in matches, and thereby making it easier for them to become visible to the Committee/Association, County, and National selectors.
The GCB President Bissoondyal Singh, who could not have been present at the Academy launch in Essequibo on Saturday, May 29, 2023, due to another pressing high-level engagement that was previously scheduled, expressed his and the GCB’s executive happiness in the realization of the implementation of a critical component GCB 5-Year Strategy Plan, in the Academy Program.
President Bissoondyal Singh in his worded submission for presentation at the launch in Essequibo, stated that the Academy initiative was given significant priority by the GCB executives, given the identified gaps in the player development pathway, and the conceptualized benefits of the Academy Program to the players. In the case of the former, at times players are selected for national teams with technical deficiencies, and lower fitness levels than required in relation to set CWI/GCB benchmarks and their mental applications which it is perceived can be greatly improved. Consequently, apart from conducting National Inter-County Tournaments, the GCB has prioritized the Academy Program to eliminate, or greatly reduce some of these aforementioned deficiencies.
The GCB is of the view, that the Academy Program carried out for its intended purpose will assist players to make the respective national teams with higher levels of technical, and physical fitness abilities, and with greater levels of appropriate mental applications. The latter is necessary to be inculcated in players since players are required to adapt to various match conditions, whether it be related to pitch, team opposition, and or crowd.
President Bissoondyal Singh thanked the ECB President and executives, as well as the Chairperson and executives of the North Essequibo Cricket Committee, South Essequibo Cricket Committee, and Wakenaam Cricket Committee, for leading the way in getting the groundwork done to implement the same program and urged that they remained steadfast in assisting the GCB through its marketing Committee to acquire funds to support and sustain the Academy Program.
Additionally, President Bissoondyal Singh thanked the youth players, and their parents and guardians for demonstrating an interest in being a part of the Academy Program, and reassured them that the GCB will continue to explore avenues that will lend support to the development of the players’ needs and requirements.
The GCB is encouraging the parents and guardians, and corporate Guyana to embrace and support this valuable nationwide Academy Program.
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