Women’s cricket will take centre-stage in the coming week as Cricket West Indies (CWI) continues to unfold its plan to grow the game and create more opportunities for females who are keen to develop their skills and help increase participation in the sport, at all levels.

CWI will deliver a series of free events — featuring several former players and administrators — which include an Online Women’s Foundation Coaching Course for over 80 present and past players, an interview series with special guests that explores the past, present and future of West Indies women’s cricket, as well as several Cricket Development Workshops held in Antigua. The aim of these initiatives is to engage, inspire and recruit more female players, coaches and course facilitators.

CWI President, Ricky Skerritt, will address the participants at the start of the virtual training session on Tuesday evening. In response to a question following his speech at the recent UWI Frank Worrell Lecture series, Skerritt promised that West Indies Women’s Cricket would soon see an increased attention and focus which he said should help vitalize Women’s cricket and strengthen the female cricketer’s pathway from grassroots to the international stage. The President highlighted the recent appointment of Courtney Walsh, as one of the key steps already taken.

Chris Brabazon, the CWI’s Coaching Development Manager, will be part of the CWI team who will be delivering these events in collaboration with Territorial Boards, Ministries of Sport and a host of past greats and contributors to West Indies cricket.

“In what is a hugely exciting time for women’s cricket with the inaugural ICC Women’s Under-19s and Cricket World Cups on the horizon, we want to ensure that women and girls from across the Caribbean feel that they can be part of the game in a playing, coaching or administrative capacity at any level as their involvement is crucial to a thriving and sustainable cricket pathway,” Brabazon said.

“The response to this week’s Online Foundation Course has been overwhelming with over 80 women signed up to take part in the event which is a clear reflection of the passion that exists for the game. The course will be held online, via Zoom, over two evenings due to the present COVID-19 restrictions.

“We will also be releasing a series of interviews and presentations that highlight the rich heritage of women’s cricket, the current landscape and the future direction which will bring together some of the ‘best of the best’ to share their views including newly appointed West Indies Women’s Coach, Courtney Walsh, Jimmy Adams, Merissa Aguilleira and Anne Browne-John.”

Led by West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons and Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams, Cricket West Indies (CWI) is hosting a West Indies Coaches Forum with regional franchise coaches on Tuesday, January 28, as part of a major initiative to develop the West Indies cricketers and coaches of the future.

Cricket West Indies boss Ricky Skerritt is hitting back at critics who have said he is going back on a pledge to hire local coaches to help get West Indies back to winning ways.

Twenty local coaches are benefitting from a Cricket West Indies (CWI) Level 2 Coaching Course delivered with the assistance of tutors from University of the West Indies and the governing body’s recently appointed Coaching Education Manager – Chris Brabazon.

 The course that began on December 12 and concludes on December 16, is being delivered at Sabina Park and also incorporated the services of two CWI Cricket Specialists, Jamaicans Phillip Service and David Bernard Jr. Prior execution in Jamaica it was delivered in Barbados, Guyana and the Windward Islands.

 “This course is part of the CWI’s ‘cricket-first’ strategy which is aimed at improving the human capital in the which supports talent development at all levels. This coaching education focus is done for the foundation through to Level 3. We are building capacity in different areas so that we can develop quality players and winning teams,” said CWI Director and Jamaica Cricket Association President Wilford “Billy” Heaven.

 “The Cricket Education Manager will add to the process a focus on the methodology used by the coaches. The pedagogy of any subject is quite important. All our players don’t learn the same way and that is being taken into consideration.”

 Meanwhile, the CWI Cricket Education Manager Chris Barbazon believes that coaching in the region is trending in the right direction but the region is behind in this regard.

 “Other countries are more advanced in terms of their accreditation systems already being in place. Once the system is in place then more workshops and seminars can be done to build more on what is learned during a course. It allows for greater focus to be placed on getting coaches to the top levels over shorter periods than currently exist,” he said.

 “I’m enthused by the positive attitude of the coaches. The next step is to take a look at all the Level 2 coaches across the region and organize a Level 3 course over the next 8-12 months. Thereafter we will seek to strengthen the various cohorts and better the franchise coaches and so on.”.

 UWI Tutor Ryerson Bahgoo noted that Level 2 focuses on identifying a player’s strengths and weakness and with the intention to reinforce and strengthen. The Level 2 course uses a more cooperative approach to coaching through observation and implicit learning using cricket drills. Coaches who have successfully completed the level 2 certification may coach in senior clubs and secondary schools that play competitive cricket.

 

A Level 2 coaching course which begins on Thursday in Kingston, Jamaica signals the start of the tenure of Chris Brabazon as Coach Education Manager, a new role created as part of CWI’s strategy to strengthen and invest in the development of coaching talent within the region. Chris has immediately travelled to Jamaica to observe the delivery of the Level 2 course.

Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, welcomed Brabazon to CWI and highlighted the selection of Brabazon to the position.

“I am delighted to welcome Chris to the Caribbean where he will be taking up the role of CWI’s first full-time Coach Education Manager.  His appointment is a critical feature of our strategic plan to produce world-class players and winning teams through the development of West Indian coaches,” Adams said.

“Chris brings a wealth of experience having held a similar role of Coach Development Manager in Western Australia for the past six years.

“He has worked at every level of the Cricket Australia coaching development pathway, from grassroots to international level, and is well-placed to drive CWI’s objective of developing our coach education programs.  I have no doubt that Chris will play a significant role in advancing our regional game and am very excited to be working with him on improving coaching standards throughout the Caribbean.”

Speaking on his appointment, Brabazon was delighted to join the legacy of West Indies Cricket.

“I am incredibly excited to join the team at CWI. In particular, I am looking forward to meeting and working with the coaches and coach developers throughout the Caribbean to ensure that all local players have access to inspirational learning environments that fosters their love of cricket.”

Brabazon holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, with over twelve (12) years’ experience specifically in cricket. He has functioned in coaching and talent development, as well as cricket management and accounting in his native Australia.

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