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Story Highlights

  • More than 70 children, between five and 16 years old, are benefiting from a 12-day cricket summer camp, designed to develop the talent of young cricketers.
  • The programme will see campers exposed to lessons from former West Indies cricketers, such as Courtney Walsh, Robert Samuels, Dennis Miller, and Dorothy Hobson.
  • The MCC has produced some of the West Indies most talented cricketers, including Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh, Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle.

More than 70 children, between five and 16 years old, are benefiting from a 12-day cricket summer camp, designed to develop the talent of young cricketers.

The programme, which commenced on August 18, is being hosted by the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) at its headquarters on Courtney Walsh Drive in Kingston, and will see campers exposed to lessons from former West Indies cricketers, such as Courtney Walsh, Robert Samuels, Dennis Miller, and Dorothy Hobson. 

Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, who addressed the campers, on August 19, congratulated the 122-year-old cricket club on sustaining such a beneficial programme, which she said, has developed into a “cricket nursery aimed at giving youngsters opportunities in the area of sports.”

Mrs. Neita Headley pointed out that the MCC has produced some of the West Indies most talented cricketers, including Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh, Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle.

“Grassroots programmes like these consistently make the difference. These are the incubators; this is where we develop the talent. These programmes take players to the higher level, as they teach them the correct technique of bowling and batting early enough, so they don’t develop the bad habits,” she said.

Mrs. Neita Headley also commended the MCC on the opening of the Ruddy Williams Centre of Excellence, which was named in honour of the stalwart member.

“I am extremely pleased that through this centre, youth development will continue to be emphasized, not just during the summer, but right throughout the year,” she added.

President of the MCC, Mark Neita, noted that the camp, which is in its 30th year, is a community activity geared at not only exposing young cricketers to the various techniques of the sport, but also at developing and molding strong and well-rounded future leaders.

“I have no doubt that as I look at these youngsters here today, that the next superstar will come from one of you campers,” he said.

Mr. Neita further informed that this year, focus will also be placed on several areas outside of cricket, including basketball and table tennis.

He noted that the campers will also receive lessons in dispute resolution and hygiene. “What we want is a complete and well-rounded experience for our children. We believe that as much as the emphasis of this camp is on playing cricket, we also want to expose our youngsters to much more than just cricket,” he said.

Mr. Neita informed that this year, the MCC will introduce former West Indies cricketer, Dorothy Hobson, as the camp’s first ever female coach.“We are also hoping that we will start getting some female campers, as we now have no female campers among our cohort,” he said.

Meanwhile, 10-year-old Jaleel Samms, who is attending the summer camp for the first time, told JIS News that he is looking forward to improving his skills in the sport.

Jaleel, who said he is a batsman, admits that he is not that good at the sport, but said he is hoping that over the next two weeks he will be exposed to “many things that I didn’t know before.”

Similarly, seven-year-old Brian Charles Largy, who describes himself as an “all-rounder,” said he is looking forward to improving his skills in the sport.

“I plan to bowl at a good medium pace and bat in the right areas and pitch the ball right,” he said.