Aspiring cricket coaches in The Gambia were recently able to undertake a five-day Level 1 qualification, as part of a free online course run by the Africa Cricket Association. Of 88 candidates from 19 African member countries who attended, the five who participated from the tiny West African nation all engaged with their instructors on Zoom from the Independence Stadium Board Room in Bakau.
When John Gabriel Gomez, the President of The Gambia Cricket Association, was speaking about the initiative he described that this was the first coaching course that was run by the Africa Cricket Association (ACA). Previously within The Gambia coach education had been run by the ICC, but the switch to ACA qualifications, with the assistance of Cricket South Africa could mean that there could be a new sense of coaching autonomy in Africa.
When speaking about how the instruction was being delivered over Zoom, Gomes described that during each day of the course lesson notes were discussed with coaching manuals being sent to the five participants. The course culminates with an exam which is to take place on 24th July 2020 to secure their Level 1 ACA certificates.
Once successful in attaining their qualifications, the coaches will then progress to the higher levels of education, Gomes also said. There appears to be real intent being shown by the Association to develop coaches with the aim of these leaders, in turn, being able to aid in the development of young cricketers.
Out of the five participants, there is one female and Gomes highlighted his hopes that by having a female coach this could help inspire the next generation of female cricketers in her region and in in the country as a whole.
In order to continue to develop, any nation needs a committed and skilled set of coaches to work alongside young players. There is hope that by completing a coaching qualification, whether it is an ICC or ACA qualification, that there are more coaches in The Gambia to do exactly that.
It can be said that The Gambia’ cricketing journey could be set for an exciting period of youth development and it will be intriguing to see how the country develops over time.
Future course being run by the ACA have been announced as being Umpires Course, Administration Course, and Level 2 Coaching Course.
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