Hetmyers’ Trust Fund to distribute $3M worth of food hampers
– BCB unveils massive developmental programmes for next four months
The vibrant Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) has unveiled major developmental plans for the game in the Ancient County. This was done after its monthly executive meeting on Tuesday last.
The executives, under the chairmanship of President Hilbert Foster, have approved a number of plans for off-the -field events, as rain and the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect hosting of the BCB’s massive cricket tournament programmes.
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer has collaborated with the BCB and the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RHTY&SC) to donate $3M worth of food hampers to families affected by flooding across the county. Distribution of the much-needed hampers would be done under the Shimron/ Nirvani Hetmyer Berbice Cricket Trust Fund.
The Hetmyers have contacted BCB President/RHTY&SC Secretary Hilbert Foster with the offer to assist, and he readily agreed. Distribution of the hampers would begin over the weekend. Almost 1000 families are expected to benefit, and Foster has disclosed that the BCB would be using its network of clubs to reach those most affected by widespread flooding that has affected the entire county.
The Hetmyers have said they have complete confidence in the administration of the BCB, and they desire to make a positive difference in the circumstances of those who have been discomfited by the floods.
The BCB had, in 2021, successfully completed the hosting of 19 finals, but another 23 tournaments are on hold. Foster has disclosed that hosting of the BCB Semi-Professional League would be postponed until next year because of the pandemic. He explained that, with rollout of the Government’s vaccination programme, he is confident that cricketing competitions can restart later in the year. However, there would not be enough time to organise the historic tournament.
The Semi-Professional League would involve 12 first-division teams playing in a semi-professional structure, and for the first time ever in Berbice, players would be receiving a stipend for participating in the league, besides attractive prizes that would be on offer.
Foster has said that the BCB would instead concentrate on coaching programmes across the county; the publication of several documents, including its first-ever coaching manual for youth cricketers; the hosting of several mini academies, and assisting clubs/youth cricketers as much as possible.
A coaching panel headed by Level Three Coach Winston Smith would visit West Berbice, New Amsterdam/Canje and Upper Corentyne sub-areas to host one-day coaching clinics for a combined 120 youth cricketers, with special emphasis being placed on physical fitness, batting and bowling.
The BCB would also host four different two-day cricket academies across the county during the month of August. These coaching outreaches would be held under the Dr Tulsi Dyal Singh Coaching Project. The board is also working on obtaining four more cricket pitch covers.
Foster has noted that the BCB already has one cover, but is working to obtain four more, and has already received financial support for one from a friend of Berbice Cricket who is living in Australia. That person has also committed to raising the necessary funds for the other three. When acquired, the covers would be placed with each of the four sub-associations to enable the BCB to host finals and other major matches without fear of the weather.
First division clubs in the county are also expected to receive assistance from the BCB Patron’s Fund, as would dozens of less fortunate youth cricketers. Patron of the BCB, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrrat, has already committed to making the fund a success during the period July/August.
Moreover, the BCB would be creating history with the publication of two booklets within the next two months. The first would be a coaching manual for junior cricketers, which would allow them to train alone at home, and allow them to work on their game on a regular basis.
Foster has said that with COVID-19 affecting the gathering of large numbers of players on a regular basis, the booklet – which would be prepared by a panel of highly qualified coaches – would be a major boost to the county’s coaching effort.
The BCB would also be publishing a 30-page booklet that would highlight 100 of the county’s most promising youth cricketers. The main objectives would be to showcase the large pool of talent in the county, and open more opportunities for the players.
Other projects that have been approved by the executive committee are as follows: Tribute to Umpires; Induction of six awardees into the BCB Administrators Hall of Fame; Father of the Year 2021; and establishment of the Michael Ramdeen Trust Fund, under which former Berbice player Kevin Ramdeen would assist a youth cricketer with a bicycle to attend cricket practice and school. This would be done in memory of his late father, Michael Ramdeen, who had been active in cricket administration in Berbice.
Kevin Ramdeen has committed to assisting a youth cricketer with a bicycle on a monthly basis for the rest of the year, and he plans to make this a long-term project.