he Berbice leg of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)/Ministry of Education/Scotiabank coaching education programme got underway yesterday at the Port Mourant Cricket Club, Berbice with a number of teachers and potential coaches in attendance.
The programme which is being tutored by officers of Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) and GCB Territorial Development Officer Colin Stuart, is designed to educate teachers, potential coaches and persons acting in capacity as coaches at various cricket clubs on child care and protection.
Yesterday participants were given lessons on child abuse which includes role plays and will undertake an evaluation as the programme continues. They will also embark on the West Indies Cricket Board coaching education foundation course today and tomorrow.
According to Stuart, the programme is part of the West Indies coaching curriculum and is now a prerequisite to become a WICB accredited coach.
Stuart said the main aim is to increase the knowledge base of potential coaches; teachers and cricket enthusiast in this field so that they can become more equiped to deal with children who are being abused. “This is a very important programme so we are trying to get at least one teacher from a primary and a secondary school involved.”
“Educating coaches of the do’s and don’ts are a positive step since the well-being of children is very important. It is also essential that coaches become aware of this and help them to learn in a safe environment,” stated Stuart.
Child Protection Officer, Orette Francois pointed out that it is a very wise move by the cricket authorities to include CPA in coaching because coaches comes into contact with children and are in a good position to spot child abuse. He added that Child protection is the protection of children from abuse, harm or neglect. “It is the responsibility of coaches to care for children in such a way that neither they nor others cause harm to them, and to report and record all concerns related to a child being harmed. It will assist in the effective development of the youths,” he pointed out.
He said that the response is good adding that participants seem to have a lot of myth when it comes to child abuse, so this programme clears those myths especially how abuse affects the child.
“We want the participants to understand who is a child and what child abuse is; those forms include sexual, physical, neglect, verbal and emotional, and how to spot child abuse and what to do when encounter same,” he explained.
The programme concludes tomorrow while the Essequibo leg will commence next Wednesday at Anna Regina.