PRESS RELEASE:-BEAUSEJOUR – The Sandals Foundation Cricket Academy has bowled off for its 14th year in Saint Lucia where some 33 of the island’s best U15 players will converge for one week at the Daren Sammy Cricket Grounds for intense on and off the field training.
After a decade and a half, the Cricket Academy has become a staple in the island’s sporting calendar, producing key players for Windward and Leeward Islands and ultimately West Indies cricket selection.
Among those in attendance of the camp this year is Windward Island skipper Simeon Gerson.
According to President of the Saint Lucia Cricket Board Julian Charles, this year’s camp is yet another nail in the fortress of commitment to youth development and sports that the Sandals Foundation has maintained.
Charles commended the Foundation, national and regional cricket Coach Alton Crafton, the Ministry of Sports and the young players for their ongoing investment in the program.
“We are proud to see this camp continue year after year and to see a company like Sandals putting its money where its mouth is. I encourage the young players to take full advantage of this opportunity,” Charles said.
Newly appointed Regional Public Relations Manager for Sandals Resorts International in the Eastern Caribbean – Mr. Sunil Ramdeen reiterated the commitment of the Sandals Foundation to youth and sports and charged the young athletes to embrace their talents and possible standings as the next “superstars of West Indies Cricket.” He pointed out that there were still great opportunities for careers in sports in the Caribbean, especially cricket, asking that the squad remain focused with this in mind as a possibility for their future.
The Sandals Foundation Cricket Academy is an undertaking in partnership with the Government of Saint Lucia and according to Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Sports Dr. Anthony George, 2016 comes with a spirit of renewed commitment from both ends of the pitch.
Dr. George noted that with such partnerships and commitment, sports in Saint Lucia has a remarkable future.
In keeping with its high performance mandate, the U15 players will undergo one week of intense cricket skills development sessions and training. They will also be exposed to life skills sessions facilitated by highly qualified current and former legendary West Indies Cricket players and coaches. Among these will be Barbados-born Mr. Roland Butcher – the first black cricketer to represent England in international competition. He is now Director of Sports at the University of the West Indies (UWI) at Cave Hill Barbados and will be meeting with the group on Sunday August 21 and again at the closing on Monday August 22, 2016.
Over the coming days, the U15 squad will undergo the fundamentals of batting, bowling and fielding which will comprise the majority of the day-time sessions. Life skills training will occupy the young athletes during the evening.
Director of Programs for the Sandals Foundation Heidi Clarke said the initiative of investing in the continued development of Cricket in the Caribbean is one that will always have a place with the company’s philanthropic arm.