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Upskilling coaches with Gary Kirsten’s programme

For young cricketers, the importance of good coaching cannot be overstated. However, how does one ensure that coaches of cricket teams at school are indeed well equipped to teach modern cricketing skills? Curro Holdings, the JSE-listed independent school group, has started upskilling the group’s coaching abilities through a unique initiative led by Cricket World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten.

50 cricket coaches from 18 Curro schools are working their way through a customised 16-week online course presented by Kirsten’s CoachED Cricket. The online course covers the most effective cricket coaching skills, techniques and drills.

Curro is the first school group to commit to the CoachED Cricket programme to this extent, internationally. Other CoachED education partners currently include the Australian Cricket Institute, the South African Cricketers’ Association, Cricket Sweden, the Bermuda Cricket Board and the Momentum Multiply Titans.

“We are extremely proud to have Curro on board as one of our global education partners. It is heartening to see the efforts that have been put into the development of cricket within the group. I believe CoachED Cricket will further contribute to not only a strong group of coaches, but also future Proteas stars,” says Gary Kirsten, Course Director at CoachEd Cricket.

A solid batting lineup

Kirsten’s CoachED Cricket online course has been developed to enable cricket coaches to learn and develop modern skills used by some of the top coaches around the globe. With 11 modules and 285 videos to work through, the course covers bowling, batting and fielding, but also provides deeper insights by looking at season management, the mental game, leadership and player performance.

“Curro constantly engages in programmes to upskill its staff as we continue to evolve in different areas of our offering and this is no different for sport,” says Jared Temlett, Operational Manager of Curro Sport. “When we met with Gary Kirsten, we discussed Curro’s need to improve our cricketing programme and how the platform could assist us. Under current Covid restrictions an online course makes sense, and if you look at the quality of the course and the fact that it even includes engagement with international coaches and players, CoachED Cricket certainly suits Curro’s needs.”

Fit for purpose

The CoachED Cricket course’s 11 modules are usually scheduled over the course of a year but have been adapted for Curro so that the coaches are ready when the school cricket season starts in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Curro’s coaches furthermore have access to weekly webinars, with guests that include former Proteas coach (currently with Pakistan), Mickey Arthur and West Indian coach Phil Simmons, and international cricketers such as Morné Morkel, Mahela Jayawardene, Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler.

Curro’s commitment to CoachED Cricket is part of a group-wide endeavour to uplift cricket as a sport. It follows last year’s appointment of former Protea player and coach, Eric Simons, as coaching consultant to upskill the Curro group of schools’ cricket coaches. Simons is set to facilitate monthly online meetups with the coaches to discuss the information covered in the CoachED course and to accommodate any further questions they might have.

The selection process

Temlett notes how, working alongside Simons, Curro looked at their nationwide cricketing programme and selected 50 coaches who either needed the skills to compliment an already established cricketing programme, or alternatively, those who had to gain knowledge to start up a cricketing programme. 30 of the Curro coaches will receive full accreditation from CoachED Cricket at the end of the course, while 20 coaches will have access to the full course material but without having to complete the final tests for certification.

“An online platform such as CoachED Cricket, complete with its amazing video resources and direct input from Gary Kirsten, makes sense for the future. I believe this will be a game-     changer, developing our coaches at a rate that suits us, to help accelerate the Curro group’s nationwide cricketing programme,” concludes Temlett.