GCB hosts first Child Protection Course for 2018

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By Avenash Ramzan

The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), in partnership with Cricket West Indies and UNICEF, on Thursday hosted the first Child Protection Course for 2018 at the Boardroom of the Board’s Regent Street Office.

The annual course targets individuals who act in managerial and/or coaching roles, potential coaches, Cricket Guyana Inc. Academy players and national youth players. Similar sessions will be held in Demerara on July 17, Berbice on July 18 and Essequibo on July 19 this year.

According to Territorial Development Officer of the GCB, Colin Stuart, arrangements are being made to have the activity also hosted in Upper Demerara.

“Basically the course targets persons who are working with children, like teachers, coaches, potential coaches, players who assist children in their development pathway. So persons who might be interacting with children we try to give them information on child abuse; it’s a certified course and it falls under the auspices of Cricket West Indies and UNICEF,” Stuart said.

Some of the Under-19 players who were part of the session

Stuart, the former Guyana and West Indies fast bowler, said the Board is satisfied with the progress made from last year in edifying persons on this most critical issue.

“Yes, definitely. As it relates to Child Care and Protection and getting the information out I think we’ve done a lot of work there with the Child Care and Protection Agency. Last year we targeted over 150 persons across the country; we expect to do the same this year targeting about 150 to 200,” Stuart pointed out.

Cricket West Indies, the governing body for cricket in the region, is using the Child Protection certified course as part of its coaching programme, making it a requirement to pursue such a pathway in the sport. The Child Protection and First Aid courses both have a validity of three years, Stuart indicated.

“For those persons looking to become coaches they would have to do the modules of Child Protection and First Aid and they will also have to get a Police Clearance,” Stuart informed.

Facilitator Orette Francois addressing the participants

Several national Under-19 players were part of Thursday’s session, absorbing the information being disseminated by officials of the Child Care and Protection Agency.

“We found that a number of the national cricketers, the Under-19 players and so on at their clubs would be indulging with youths, a number of them children, and it’s important we felt they understand what Child Abuse is,” Stuart explained.

Thursday’s session was conducted by Nicholas Fraser of the Allied Arts Unit, Ministry of Education, and Orette Francois, Senior Probation and Social Services Officer, Child Care and Protection Agency.

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