The G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport and the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), have entered into an agreement geared at enhancing training and administration of cricket in Jamaica and the wider region.
The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the college’s St. Catherine location on Wednesday (June 20), which will guide the development and delivery of academic programmes, short technical training courses, collaborative research on preparing and maintaining pitches, and the delivery of information on the strategies to prevent cricket-related injuries.
Candidates for the pilot programme, which is expected to get underway in September of this year, will be identified by the JCA. Thereafter, eight persons will be given the nod by a selection committee. Among the possible candidates are cricket coaches and players. Further details of the programme will be made public in the next few weeks.
Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, who attended the signing, lauded the move to forge an alliance to spur the growth of cricket.
“To have the partnership between the college and the cricket association is one that I think is long in coming and one that is going to serve the sport well. I believe, also, as it relates to fitness and the greater development of our athletes, GC Foster must lead the way in that development,” she said.
She noted that the collaboration will revitalise the sport, which she said, is losing some of its popularity. “It is a game that Jamaicans love wholeheartedly but if (it is) not given the support. We will lose it at the base eventually,” she stated.
Principal of G.C. Foster College, Edward Shakes, said the institution feels “very honoured and proud to be entering into this partnership with the Jamaica Cricket Association."
He noted that “part of our role as the sports college is to build capacity for the development and growth of the various sports and, of course cricket, is no exception”.
“We certainly want to see G.C. Foster at the centre of cricket development in Jamaica,” and the wider region, he said.
For his part, JCA President, Lyndel Wright, noted that the signing of the MOU is an important move to equip players in the sport as well as to boost their personal development. He lauded the leadership of the college for the vital role the institution has played in producing quality graduates and remaining relevant in the field.
He said that as Jamaica looks towards the next 50 years, “the aim is for more cricketers to be trained and developed, as training is the means through which we can sustain the development of cricket in Jamaica, and by extension the West Indies."
The G.C. Foster College, which opened its doors in September 1980, has embarked on path of growth, which involves the introduction of new programmes, while investing in infrastructure. The college is now moving towards becoming a degree-granting institution.
Cricketers, who have been trained at the institution, include Captain of the Jamaica team, Tamar Lambert; George Heron, opening batsman in the 1980s; Matthew Sinclair, wicket keeper from 1995-1996; and Odean Brown, spin bowler who played between 2002 and 2004.
By Andrine Davidson