Atlantic tournament important says WI captain
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - West Indies women’s captain, Merissa Aguilleira, believes the Atlantic National Primary Schools Competition, will encourage more females to get involved in the sport and provide a wider talent pool later on for the regional team.
Speaking to Newsday prior to the girls final on Friday, Aguilleira stated, “I think it’s a really good move and I must give them (Atlantic) kudos for that. This is where I came from so the more of this is better. You can get more out of the younger players. You get them going out there training hard and see that there is life in cricket and you can reach at the top level. I being here, that will motivate the girls and show them that you can get even more out of cricket,” she explained.
Aguilleira noted that the Secondary Schools administrators need to follow up on the good work being done by Atlantic and put in the necessary structure to keep the girls in the sport.
“I think it’s most important that they understand the basics here so when they get into the Secondary Schools, it’s all up to the principals, coaches and teaches to follow up on what they have learnt,” she explained.
Asked what advice she will give to an aspiring cricketers, the 27-year-old regional captain stressed discipline as being key to success.
“I look for discipline because in all areas and aspects of your life you need discipline. That team spirit and unity (is also important) because this is not an individual sport it is a team sport. Once you portray such image you show that you can participate in a team,” she added, Nigel Darlow, CEO of Atlantic, is also optimistic that the competition will help instill a love for the game in the youths who he hopes will go on to represent the national and regional teams.
“This is what it’s all about. Hopefully some of them will go on and play cricket at the highest level. This is the tenth year Atlantic are sponsoring this competition and we’re very proud of our sponsorship...To come here at the Queen’s Park Oval when you’re in Primary School is fantastic for the girls and boys,” Darlow declared.
He also believes Aguilleira is a perfect role model for the girls who can emulate her and don the maroon colours one day.
“Sport is so important in schools today because it helps kids in their general development. We’re really proud to sponsor it and it’s all about investing in our youths today for our nation’s future tomorrow,” he said.
Atlantic have also brought on board Australian coach Darren Holder who conducted a seminar with the coaches at the Primary School level recently.
“We’ve also launched Atlantic Coaching Excellence Programme in the Primary School...Darren is here to help us promote our coaching programme so he’s here coaching the coaches so we get the expertise at the coaching level for the children here,” he pointed out.