New Jersey, USA 28th June 2016: Youth cricket has grown exponentially in New Jersey and New York over the last 5 years.
New Jersey now has several youth cricket tournaments and is home to the summer season-long NATA youth cricket league with a dozen teams in Under-13 and Under-15 age categories.
New York has also seen organized youth cricket grow thanks to the efforts of the PSAL league and academies such as LIYCA and QUCA. Youth programs have also emerged in West Haven, Stamford, Albany and Boston areas.
As junior cricket experiences exponential growth, the demand for qualified and experiences coaches is steadily increasing as well. DreamCricket Academy alone has four coaches to oversee its many junior teams under the overall supervision of Coach Earl Daley.
However, with cricket administration in disarray, the region has suffered from the lack of ICC-endorsed coaching education programs. Prior to this weekend’s initiative in New Jersey, the last time such a course aimed at developing coaches in the region was delivered was in 2011 when ICC Americas and US Youth Cricket Association conducted a course in Maryland.
At its 2015 townhall meetings in Chicago and New York, ICC Americas acknowledged that coaching education was a vital component of the USA strategic framework. Following up on its promise, in April 2016, the ICC Americas invited USA cricket leagues and programs to apply to host Level 1 Coach Education courses in their regions, noting that ICC Americas had the capacity to conduct 2-3 courses this summer.
DreamCricket Academy and Long Island Youth Cricket Academy each applied to host the course in the Greater New York/New Jersey area. Upon ICC Americas’ suggestion to combine strengths, the two programs quickly came together to offer a joint course in New Jersey with CLNJ and Bat and Ball Cricket providing logistical support. The course was delivered by Tom Humphries of ICC Americas.
The course attracted twenty six cricket registrants, including current coaches, youth organizers, PE teachers and cricketers. Nivedita Aluri of the Starlets was the lone female participant.
Participants learned how to teach basic batting, bowling, fielding, and wicket keeping skills through modified games and activities.
At the end of the program, each of the participants conducted a cricket education session and were assessed by Humphries. Participants were also required to complete the Positive Coaching Alliance’s online course and an assessment of the PCA’s Double Goal Coach Philosophy, a best practice methodology that is utiliezed by multiple sports bodies in the U.S.
Upon receiving their certification, each of these 26 new coaches will be ready to take cricket to their communities adding much needed coaching resources to a region starved of qualified coaches.