BCB launches county-wide coaching programme: Minister Dharamlall hailed for cooperation

With cooperation of the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday (August 16th) launched another coaching programme for youths across the ancient county.

Minister Nigel Dharamlall

That programme is expected to be a 12-month pilot project with a total of 18 cricket coaches/trainers being involved in the county’s most ambitious coaching venture. BCB President Hilbert Foster, who is spearheading the project, has said the main objectives are to provide regular coaching to youths, to work early on technical problems, to unearth new talents, and to provide additional coaching to the most promising talents.

The coaches are to be under the supervision of Level Three coach Winston Smith, and would include Leslie Solomon, Delbert Hicks, Tremayne Smartt, Ameer Rahaman, Seon Hetmyer, Travis Hardcourt, Balram Samaroo, Lackram Lathman and Junior Blair.

Some of the coaches posing with their charges at the Area H Ground

The coaches would be required to work 80 hours per month, and Foster has said that 14 of them have started to work in Region Six at venues including Rose Hall Canje, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall Town, #73, Skeldon, and Port Mourant. Coaching in Region Five would start shortly, as soon as some paper work is completed in regard to signing up the coaches.

With the assistance of Minister Dharamlall, the BCB has attracted some sponsorship, and the funds would be used to purchase the items that the coaches would need, including flannel and hard balls. The BCB has already provided several aids to the coaches, and more would be handed over shortly, including catching cribs.

Foster disclosed that the first phrase of the project would target members of clubs with junior sections, and when school reopens in September, coaches would visit both primary and secondary schools in the most comprehensive coaching programme undertaken in the history of Berbice.

He stated that, last year, the BCB had set itself a target of producing ten players for the West Indies at all levels in five years. It has produced six so far, and is confident that the target would be achieved before the end of 2023. The county has also produced a total of forty-two players for Guyana this year at all levels, and hopes to increase that amount in 2023.

Head Coach Winston Smith has said the coaches are delighted at the positive attitude of the players, and he hailed the BCB for organising the project. Smith predicted that many promising players would emerge from the project over the next twelve months. Special emphasis is been placed on batting, fast bowling, spin bowling, wicketkeeping and general fielding.

The BCB would shortly hand over millions of dollars’ worth of cricket gear, balls and uniforms to twenty-three secondary schools in the county before several inter zone tournaments are organised. Tournaments would be played in four sub-zones: New Amsterdam/Canje, West Berbice, Lower Corentyne, and Upper Corentyne. The winner from each zone would then move on to play a grand Berbice final.

Foster has expressed profound thanks to Minister Dharamlall for his cooperation in providing employment for the coaches, and for his advice in coming up with the structure of the programme. Foster had met the Minister at his Kingston, Georgetown office, and he readily agreed to assist.

The new project would join the Dr Tulsi Dyal Singh county-wide coaching and mini academies in the BCB Developmental programme.