WICB and Digicel join forces to launch Youth Development Programme

Bridgetown, Barbados: The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Digicel, proud sponsor of cricket in the West Indies today announced details of the Digicel Youth Cricket Development Programme. The two-year agreement will see youth development clinics take place in all WICB territorial boards – Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago – with hundreds of aspiring young cricketers being coached in the basic skills of the game, with a view to creating a pool of talented young West Indian cricketers.

The first set of clinics is for 12 to 15 year old boys and girls with basic cricket skills and will take place in the form of one clinic per week – each lasting two to three hours – over a period of six months. Coaches will focus on the technical, mental and physical aspects of the game, as well as coaching the young cricketers in the areas of scoring, umpiring and the history of West Indies cricket.

The second set of clinics is for 15 to 17 year old boys and girls, with one clinic – lasting three hours - taking place each week across several countries over a period of six months from September 2010 to April 2011.
The purpose of these clinics is to further develop the skills of these young cricketers with a view to creating a pool of talent that will go forward and compete at national level, and one day potentially play international cricket for the West Indies senior team.

The clinics will focus on introducing the cricketers to more intensive practice and preparation processes, as well as simulating competitions to teach them how to compete. At the end of the six months, 20 players will be selected to play for their national team and be in with a chance to be selected to play in the WICB Under-17 tournament.

The third and final element of the Digicel Cricket Youth Development Programme is a clinic for volunteer coaches to develop their coaching skills, so that future West Indies cricketers receive the highest standard of professional coaching.

“The Digicel Youth Cricket Development Programme bridges an important gap between kiddies cricket and Under 19 cricket,” WICB Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ernest Hilaire, said. “The WICB is pleased to have Digicel on board to launch this exciting youth initiative which will offer teenage cricketers an invaluable opportunity to learn the fundamentals and history of this illustrious game which is so dear to all of us,” Dr. Hilaire added.

Digicel Group Marketing Director, Kieran Foley, said of this new initiative; “As the proud sponsor of West Indies cricket, Digicel is delighted to once again be leading the way in supporting the development of cricket in the region. It is hugely important that aspiring young cricketers have the support structure they need to develop their natural talent, with a view to one day playing for the West Indies senior team.”

Digicel is the proud sponsor of cricket in the Caribbean, having sponsored the West Indies cricket team since 2004. Digicel is also heavily involved in cricket at a community level across the region through various initiatives such as the Digicel Cricket Coaching Clinics and through the support of numerous youth cricket clubs.