The ICC Academy in Dubai has launched its coaching programmes for the 2014-15 season, which for the first time also includes sessions for females.
The Cricket Cubs programme for children from walking age up to six years old will deal with motor skills, hand-eye coordination and basic numeracy, while there also are programmes for different age groups, from juniors to adults.
Explaining the why a programme for girls has been included, ICC Academy manager Will Kitchen said: “We want to give them [girls] access to some of the best facilities in the world that we have at the ICC Academy.”
He added: “That way they can get an understanding of how the sport is played, learn from our fantastic coaches and learn the basics of cricket. It’s a great way of getting a feel of the sport that is becoming really popular in the UAE.”
And Kitchen believes anyone who joins will be impressed with the Academy’s programmes.
He said: “What we offer anyone that comes to the ICC Academy is four-fold: the opportunity to make and see clear progress, clear outcomes in coaching programmes and a great experience – all thanks to our top-class and highly qualified coaching team, as well as our and state-of-the-art facilities and technology – plus the chance to tour overseas on a regular basis.
“In the past 12 months, our juniors have played in Kenya, Nepal and UK and we will once again be providing touring opportunities in 2014-15 to help youngsters take their game forward.
“If a parent asks ‘If I take my child to the Academy, what will we get out of it?’ then the answer is simple: they will get exactly the same experience as a top international player using the same facility.”
And for a first-hand experience ahead of the new term, parents and children can visit the ICC Academy during Dubai Sports City’s Open Day on Friday, September 5.
Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) chairman David East and new UAE batting coach Mudassar Nazar talk exclusively to Sport360 about the new deal between the ECB and ICC Academy.
The ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City and the ECB this week announced a strategic partnership that will play a pivotal role in preparing the UAE squad for next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The agreement, in the form of a rolling contract, sees the state-of-the-art facility become a hub for the squad’s training.
It will also involve the ICC Academy staff, including Head of Development Nazar, the former Pakistan all-rounder, and strength and conditioning expert Peter Kelly, assisting in the squad’s preparations for the mega-event. Mudassar will work as the squad’s batting coach and Peter will fill the role of head of sports science.
World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten will visit the UAE to help budding cricketers during a five-day ‘Roadshow’ programme.
The programme is being organised by Kobus Olivier, operations manager at Dubai-based Maxtalent Global Sports (MGS) academy, who is close friends with Kirsten having played together in South Africa.
The South African, who guided India to World Cup glory in 2011, will be in the UAE from December 3 to 7.
Olivier said: “He will go around schools and different venues which will also include two corporate evenings allowing Gary Kirsten to do speaking engagements.
“He will have group sessions for 15 to 20 boys of six hours coaching a day. He will also take one-on-one sessions which includes video analysis and give feedback.”
Olivier has only been in his role at MGS for two months, and added: “We are in talks for a partnership between MGS and the Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy in Cape Town.”
Meanwhile, MGS have ann-ounced that former South Africa international Meyrick Pringle will conduct training clinics for children above 11, beginning tomorrow until September 7.
The sessions take place at 16:00 and 17:00 (Thursday), while Friday and Saturday clinics are from 07:00 to 09:00 and 16:30 to 18:30. All clinics will be held at Al Nasr Sports Club, Karama, Dubai.
To register or for more information, call Derick on 055 226 5549 or Kobus 055 117 6486.