Cricket South Africa (CSA) and KFC hosted the seventeenth annual KFC Mini-Cricket seminar over the weekend where 154 coaches and co-ordinators from around the country were invited to review the past season and assist in planning for the upcoming one. The seminar, which took place at the Fish River Sun Hotel and Conference Centre in Port Alfred, was declared a success by all in attendance.
“For me, it was yet another brilliantly organised event by CSA,” said Celeste O’Brien from Griqualand West. “I think it’s really important to touch base with the people who are on the ground so that any issues and praise can be aired and given in an open forum with everyone there because many of us experience the same things in our different regions. There is so much value to attending the seminar. The guest speakers and the workshops we had this year were top quality and gave us all a lot more to think about in terms of how we go about our planning and our jobs as a whole. We were definitely inspired to do better and be better and I know I’ll take that on board for the new season.”
Guest speakers at the seminar included Paralympic gold, silver and bronze medallist and nine-time Boston Marathon winner, Ernst van Dyk, Uviwe Child and Youth Services social worker, Deonnette Chapman, The Unlimited Titans head coach, Rob Walter as well as Marchant de Lange and Lonwabo Tsotsobe from the Proteas and SA U-19 World Champions, Yaseen Valli and Sibonelo Makhanya.
Hester Parsons was blown away by the youngsters who brought the ICC U19 World Cup trophy to the seminar. “They (Valli and Makhanya) were absolute gentlemen,” she commented. “To hear such maturity and poise from players so young really impressed me. They were the highlight of my seminar, the way that they interacted with the delegates and answered questions and had time for each and every person who spoke to them made me proud. To think that they are products of this amazing programme inspired me to work that much harder with my players so that they can also one day represent our proud nation as these young men have done.”
Makhanya enjoyed attending the seminar, saying that it made him look at his old mini-cricket days and those coaches in a different way.
“We all know that our coaches have to know what they are talking about when they are teaching us the ins and outs of the game, but I never thought of exactly how much goes into coaching little kids. To attend just a few sessions of the seminar really opened my eyes to what goes into the job. I definitely have even more respect for all the mini-cricket coaches out there. A lot of time, effort and attention to detail goes into this job,” he remarked. “I just want to thank everyone who was there for their warm reception of myself and Yas (Yaseen Valli) and for all their encouraging words.”
CSA and KFC also launched multi-lingual coaching videos to assist coaches in reaching more players and potential coaches. Delegates also saw the introduction of new plastic equipment that is stronger and more durable than the current roll-out of wooden bats and stumps. The aim of this is to ensure that more players will be able to access the equipment that is cheaper to produce, but longer lasting.
“These new videos will do more for me as a coach than CSA realises,” KFC Mini-Cricket Coach of 2014, Nokuzola Javu from Eastern Province said. “I work with children whose first language is isiXhosa and these videos will reach the children in a way that sometimes we cannot. They will now be able to see and understand the instructions in the videos, it is for me, the best outcome of the seminar.”