'No gender barrier' - JCA working on cricket specific PE coaches
Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) president W. Billy Heaven said that the body is working with the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) to produce physical education (PE) teachers who specialise in cricket.
Heaven's statement comes after Cricket West Indies president Whycliffe 'Dave' Cameron's recent comments that female physical education (PE) teachers do not know enough about the sport to aid its development at the youth level. This, Heaven said he disagrees with "fundamentally."
"I disagree with any notion that women and female PE teachers cannot coach cricket. I have repeatedly said, since taking over the reins of the JCA, that the development of cricket must start in the schools," Heaven told The Gleaner during an Editor's Forum yesterday with the CHASE Fund top brass, of which he is the Chief Executive Officer.
"PE teachers are generalists and they are not specialists in any area of sports. But what we have done effectively at the JCA, is to work with ISSA and by 2019, we will have PE teachers, who specialise in cricket and who will become coaches of cricket in our schools."
Heaven, who has a background in teaching, said that training is needed in a general sense for all PE teachers, regardless of their gender.
"I understand the system and I understand how it works," he said. "Women can become as effective a coach as any male, if the training is provided. Just like with males, they can't go out there and coach without the training. Look at what is happening in Jamaica. You have female referees, and female umpires at the highest level of international cricket. There ought not to be any gender barriers or gender biases with respect to women being coaches in schools. I believe if we're going to emphasise women's cricket, as well, then it is my view that we're going to consider that women may be the best coaches for that."
Heaven said that Cameron should have shown better judgement with his comment.
"To me, it's not one of the choicest statements," he said. "Certainly, that's not the road I would go down. I believe it was not considered and it's not generally an appropriate statement, not because of the Women's World T20 (which will be hosted by the West Indies in November), especially if you are in authority, your statement has to be more considered than that."