GCB launches Academy in three area committees in Essequibo
PRESS RELEASE BY THE GUYANA CRICKET BOARD
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 Programme under the Essequibo Cricket Board’s administrative structure, in the area committees 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 Wakenaam.
The Academy initiative was outlined in the GCB Five-Year Strategy Plan by the GCB President and executives on their ascension to the GCB office in 2020. The programme, which required thorough planning, will realise the implementation of 18 Academy Programmes nationwide.
Each of the Essequibo Cricket Board’s affiliate Committees will have an Academy Programme. These Committees are North Essequibo, South Essequibo, Wakenaam, Pomeroon, Bartica, Leguan and East Bank Essequibo.
Similarly, it is intended for the Demerara Cricket Board to have five Academies in their affiliate Associations of West Demerara, East Bank Demerara, Upper Demerara, Georgetown and East Coast Demerara. The six Academy locations for Berbice, namely West Berbice, New Amsterdam/Canje, Lower Corentyne, Central Corentyne/Bush Lot, Upper Corentyne and Berbice River.
The Academy Programme will place emphasis on the holistic development of players ages 7-17 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 Programme will also place emphasis on positive self-concept, discipline, and commitment, the understanding of group dynamics, and the value of teamwork.
The Academy Programme will be conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 15:30h to 17:30h, and on Saturdays from 08:00h to 11:00h.
Understandably, there may be slight adjustments in the training time to facilitate the unique needs of the individual Academies.
The Academy Programme is the brainchild of 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 opening remarks.
President Deleep Singh 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 programme 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.
The ECB head 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, and encouraged the players to make full use of the opportunity.
The GCB’s Territorial Development Officer Colin Stuart 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 drive 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 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 manager 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.
GCB President Bissoondyal Singh, who could not have been present at the launch due to another pressing high-level engagement that was previously scheduled, expressed his and the GCB’s executive happiness in the realisation of a critical component of the GCB Five-Year Strategy Plan.
President Singh, in his worded submission for presentation at the launch, stated that the Academy initiative was given significant priority by the GCB executives, given the identified gaps in the player development pathway, and the conceptualised benefits of the Academy Programme 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 prioritised the Academy Programme to eliminate, or greatly reduce some of these aforementioned deficiencies.
The GCB is of the view that the Academy Programme 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 they are required to adapt to various match conditions, whether it be related to pitch, team opposition, and or crowd.
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 programme and urged that they remained steadfast in assisting the GCB through its Marketing Committee to acquire funds to support and sustain the Academy Programme.
Additionally, Singh thanked the youth players and their parents/guardians for demonstrating an interest in being a part of the Academy Programme, 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 Programme.