Scotiabank invests $300k in all-round youth cricket development

TTCB president Azim Bassarath, left, and Scotiabank Foundation director Peter Ghany with some participants in the Scotiabank NextGen U15 Cricket Programme 2023. Photo courtesy Scotiabank
TTCB president Azim Bassarath, left, and Scotiabank Foundation director Peter Ghany with some participants in the Scotiabank NextGen U15 Cricket Programme 2023. Photo courtesy Scotiabank

Scotiabank has pumped $300k into its 2023 NextGen U15 Cricket Development Programme.

From February 1, eight zonal teams will do battle in a 50-over round-robin tournament to give standout players an opportunity to stake their claim for national selection in regional competitions later on this year.

The competing U-15 teams are Tobago, North, North East, East, Central, South, South East and South West.

Additionally, the young cricketers will participate in a series of capacity-building sessions aimed at developing their overall knowledge and rules of the sport and well-being of players.

At the National Cricket Centre in Couva, on Friday, coach developer and programme facilitator Brendon Ramlal said this year’s NextGen programme has evolved into a new format and will now encompass 22 modules of life skills, to be delivered in two phases.

Phase two takes place during the U-15 tournament and was designed for returning participants who would have successfully completed the 2022 programme.

Phase one takes place during the U-13 tournament and will be open to new and first-time participants inclusive of both males and females. The U-13 component of the NextGen programme is scheduled to begin in April and also includes zonal competition.

Ramlal said, “In phase two, participants will be exposed to the following modules: captaincy and team culture, umpiring, analyst etiquette, financial management II, physiotherapy, the history of West Indian cricket, strength and conditioning, coaching and managing, sports journalism and anti-bullying and conflict resolution.”

These modules were specifically chosen to offer participants a career guidance pathway should they seek to become employed in the cricketing world. Some of the modules developed were chosen based on the recommendations made by parents.

Peter Ghany, Scotiabank Foundation director (left) presents Azim Bassarath, TTCB president with a cricket bat to launch the 2023 edition of the Scotiabank NextGen U15 Cricket Programme. Photo courtesy Scotiabank

Also, experts from the local cricket fraternity will share an overview of the roles and responsibilities in cricket, their educational pathway with specific reference to subject areas, as well as the pathways within a local, regional and international set-up to become certified or qualified.

Scotiabank Foundation director Peter Ghany said the NextGen programme aims at enhancing youngsters’ talent in the sport, while acquiring other skills for the future.

“Our ambition for the development programme is to positively impact the lives of young people. We’re aiming to improve their education and employment prospects so that they can adapt to changing circumstances and increase the likelihood of financial success,” Ghany said.

He highlighted the successes of last year’s programme which showed that 97 per cent of participants indicated they had a more positive outlook or engagement with school and 91 per cent reporting they gained increase knowledge, skills and confidence in financial matters.

This is the 19th year Scotiabank is sponsoring major youth programmes and tournaments domestically. TTCB president Azim Bassarath praised Scotiabank for its continued investment in youth cricket, which initially started with Kiddy Cricket.

“Hundreds of youngsters over the years have benefited from this creative, ground-breaking, indigenous programme, which has served to develop their latent abilities, both on and off the field.

“It uniquely combines scholastic activity with cricket, in an admirable holistic manner that tapped into their aptitude and talent in art and craft, drama, poetry and cricket knowledge,” Bassarath said.

He believes the NextGen initiative creates a resource pool of young cricketers who are able to engage in critical thinking and helps prepare them to tackle inevitable challenges they may face in the future.

Before Bassarath concluded his address, he made an open call to former acting commissioner of police McDonald Jacob, who recently retired, to become a part of the TTCB’s mentoring initiative, for sessions geared to impress positive values on the “young and impressionable minds.”

Bassarath added, “Mr Jacob has served TT with distinction and his wide knowledge and experience in law enforcement is certain to be well-received and will surely assist in framing the minds of future upstanding citizens, who will contribute to building a better nation.”

U15 fixtures:

Round One (February 1)

Tobago vs East (National Cricket Centre, Couva)

North East vs North (Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain)

Central vs South West (Agostini Settlement Recreation Ground, Chase Village)

South East vs South (Sancho Branch Road Ground, Princes Town)


"Scotiabank invests $300k in all-round youth cricket development"

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