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Child care certification a must for Kiddy Cricket coaches

Published:Saturday | January 23, 2016 | 11:12 AMShayne Fairman, Sport Writer

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Kiddy Cricket coordinator, Phillip Service believes the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket’s mandatory request for all their coaches to have certification in child care and protection, will help to ring in a new era in how minors are treated in sports.

The child care and protection course is being facilitated by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) and the Child Development Agency (CDA).

A total of 12-14 workshops across all parishes will be targeted, with the primary focus on 150 primary schools competing in the Kiddy Cricket programme.

At Tuesday’s Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket launch at Sabina Park in Kingston, Service told The Gleaner coaching is not about shouting instructions to children, but a responsible exercise.

“The coaches have to understand that you have to know how to treat children. If we continue this shouting, not understanding that children are human beings and have rights too, then all we are going to do is to contribute to the continued cycle of violence in our country, and we have to break it,” Service said.

While the Scotiabank/WICB Kiddy Cricket programme began in Jamaica in 2001, and helped to expose cricketers Jermaine Blackwood and Brandon King, the impact is felt regionally.

It has helped to foster and develop an estimated 20 national/West Indies cricketers since the year 2000, in a joint effort with the WICB to help foster skills and passion for cricket among West Indian children.

The showpiece has grown among 14 Caribbean countries with more than 750,000 children participating since then.

Jamaica will see 84 new schools and an overall total of 224 children participating this year.

“UNICEF has committed to assist us in running these 14 courses in 2016, one in each parish. Two is scheduled in February, one in March and the other in April. We are committed to one in each parish this year,” assured Service.

He stressed that coaches who have done the course have found them instructive. “We are making a broader contribution to the broader campaign in Jamaica of breaking the silence of abuse against our children,” he said.

“We are in fact making this programme available, working with UNICEF and other sports as well, so going forward we are going to be involved in football, netball and other sports with this programme,” he added.

Service said the Child Care and Protection Course is a one day course, costing $8,000, while the foundation course will take two days and will cost $15,000. The Venue, which will be decided on February 16, could be the University of Technology.