SPORTS organizations have to place strategic emphasis on the developmental aspect for their members and the sport of cricket is no exception if Saint Lucian cricket has to flourish.
In 2010, Cricket West Indies Grass Roots Cricket Programme was initiated by the West Indies Cricket Board to introduce, develop and spread the sport of cricket in clusters within communities, across the West Indies at the Grass Roots Level, the Northern Cluster (Gros Islet) Grass Roots Cricket Programme being one of these groups.
Funding for the programme stopped in 2016, which left the NCGRCP with two choices: closing of the programme like similar groups in Saint Lucia and the region, or finding avenues to continue.
With the love and passion that the NCGRCP has for cricket development, the programme continued and is currently going strong. Funding the programme has been very challenging but because of our commitment to the development of the sport of cricket and our young aspiring cricketers, we have done and remain steadfast. At this time, the main source of funding for the programme takes the form of fundraising activities and support from corporate society.
Approximately 140 young cricketers (male and female) are registered in the NCGRCP with some who commute from as far as Millet, Anse la Raye, Babonneau and Micoud. An average of 75 to 85 participants, ages 4 to 19, attend our Saturday morning programme which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium.
The Northern Cluster Grass Roots Cricket Programme has served as a nursery for youth cricket in Saint Lucia and the Windward Islands for the past five years.
The programme has been home for the following cricketers who have performed outstandingly for Saint Lucia and the Windward Islands: Kimani Melius: 2017-2018 West Indies Under–19 Player for ICC Youth World Cup; Qiana Joseph: 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Player for ICC Women’s World Cup; Dane Edward: 2014 West Indies Under-16 Player; Lee Solomon: 2017 West Indies Under-16 Player; and Garvin Serieux: 2017 West Indies Under-16 Player.
Other players include:
Windward Islands Under-15 and -17 players Simeon Gerson, UdellPreville, Vernillius Gabriel, Stavone Gabriel, Rene Montoute, Dominic Auguste, Keygan Arnold and Stuart Calderon.
National Under-19 players Jard Goodman, VeronPreville, Keeghan Patrick and Stephen Mitchel.
Other National Under-15 players include Zidane Arthur, Mc Kenny Clarke, Tyrel Chicot, Denzel Albert, Sherqwayne Prudent, Royce Paul, Tarrick Edward, Kaleb Thomas, Darren Sammy Jr., Bolton Sayers, DesneGidharry, and Shakim Breen.
The programme is headed by Alton Crafton, a Level 3 Cricket Australia-certified coach and CWI Coaching Assessor/Tutor.
We boast a number of other very committed and dedicated coaches and administrators. Coaches are RoselinePreville, Allain Ashby, Vernillius Gabriel, and Dexter Solomon. Administrators are NereusAuguste, Bernard Fanis, Thomas Elcock, Steve and Ruth Michel, Afra Forde, and Ruthina Joseph.