For nearly a quarter of a century, Bakers Biscuits have thrown their weight behind cricket development – giving thousands of South African children the opportunity to fall in love with the great game, and make it their sport of choice.
National cricket stars, Johmari Logtenberg, Makhaya Ntini, and Shaun Pollock, were all products of the Mini Cricket program, the foundation for cricket development in South Africa.
Bakers Mini Cricket started 24 years ago, with a dream of bringing the game of cricket into the lives of thousands of South African children.
The program instills a love for the game at an early age, and is also a vehicle to create unity amongst children, encouraging them to play, grow and develop in a truly multi-racial society.
According to Cricket South Africa’s Manager of Schools Cricket, Niels Momberg, about 10 000 girls participate in the program at any given time.
“Over the last 5 years, a concerted effort has been made to have girls only festivals, as well as mixed festivals where girls and boys participate.
“The policy is that girls should be allowed to play with and against boys at Bakers Mini Cricket Level. If Bakers Mini Cricket is being played at a school, girls can join. If any school does not play Bakers Mini Cricket, parents can contact one of 16 provincial units directly.”
The increased number of children playing cricket over the years, created a demand for more trained coaches.
This resulted in the launch of the Bakers Coaches Academy in 1994, which has coached over 30 000 coaches to date.
At Mini Cricket level, there are thousands of women coaches, many of them parents and teachers.
Cricket South Africa’s National coaching director, Anton Ferreira, says it’s not a new phenomenon.
“Since Dr (Ali) Bacher started the Mini Cricket program, women have played a significant role in coaching. In fact, at our last Bakers Mini Cricket Seminar, more than 50% of the 120 delegates were women.”
The innovative academy controls the training, qualification and certification of cricket coaches at various levels.
It strives to enhance the coaching process, focusing equally on the hard-to-define areas such as communication, respect and intuitive understanding of players, as well as the many technical issues of this great game.
The Academy is managed by the Manager of Coaching in conjunction with the Coaching Committee of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, and aims to keep up with the latest technical developments taking place in other cricketing nations, to help South Africa’s coaching system remain at the cutting edge.
So, whether you are current or retired player, a teacher, or a parent just wanting to get more involved, why not find out more about Cricket South Africa’s coaching structures, and see how you can contribute.
Click here for the Bakers Coaching Academy course info.