CRICKET coach David Olliver is elated to be part of this year’s Cricket West Indies and Saint Lucia’s National Cricket Association (SLNCA) Under-15 Development Programme.
Olliver, who has managed various cricket teams over the years, is a level one Kiddy Cricket and Grassroots Coach. He is also involved in talent development. The programme commences this Saturday at four venues around the island. He will be working alongside Clivus Jules (head coach) and Hanna Modeste in the Dennery / La Ressource cricket cluster.
This reporter spoke to Olliver earlier this week about his expectations for the upcoming developmental programme.
“I am incredibly excited to be part of the team. I am looking forward to meeting and working with the young aspiring cricketers. I also want to ensure that all under 15 players have access to inspirational learning environments that foster their love of cricket,” he said.
Olliver managed the winning national Under 15 team in the Windward Islands cricket tournament during the years 2014 – 2017. He also managed the national senior men’s team for the first time in 2015, that year Saint Lucia became join champions with Grenada in the Windward Islands senior men’s tournament.
Olliver also coached and managed the Mabouya Valley Renegades cricket team for three years in the Saint Lucia Premiere League (SPL) tournament. The team always finished in the top four.
“We will be starting this Saturday at the La Ressource Playing Field in Dennery with an Opening Ceremony from 9.00 a.m. and hopefully the Director for Sports Patrick Mathurin and the President of the SLNCA Carol Henry will grace us with their presence,” Olliver said.
On the practical side of things Olliver said that he sees the programme as an environment established to identify the hidden talents in our young male and female cricketers who have the potential to develop in accomplished players.
“Approximately 30 young aspiring cricketers are enrolled at present and they are mainly from the Dennery Village and Mabouya Valley and its environs and they will be involved in the rudiments of the game which include batting, bowling, fielding and catching,” he said.
The sessions scheduled for the island’s east coast will be restricted to the La Ressource Playing Field due to the heavy construction work currently ongoing at the Dennery sporting area.
“Under my watch in the Grassroots and the Kiddy Cricket Programme, I have seen the likes of Nesha Alexander (female) developed, she is currently playing in the Acynta Auguste Women’s 50 Overs tournament representing the SLNCA Development Team. Actually, Alexander started in the Kiddy Cricket programme and moved on to the Clendon Mason Memorial Secondary School. When we had the national Under 15 female programme organized by MILO sometime back, through CWI and the SLNCA, she was enrolled and did well. We had a competition and she went on to win a trophy for the Most Outstanding Player and from there she has developed into where she is right now,” Olliver said.
He added that Alexander shows signs of a good player for the future, something the SLNCA has recognized hence her selection on the Development Team. Further she has the potential to reach very far as a female cricketer.
Another player to have come out of the Kiddy Cricket Programme and the Dennery Grassroots Development Programme is Sharshim George (male). George went on to represent Saint Lucia in the Under 15 Windward Islands tournament in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2019.