By Neto Baptiste
Better organised and well-structured clubs will lead to improved development in sports at both the community and school levels.
This is the belief of former national, Leeward Islands and West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, who said there should be no expectation of development at the school level as the competitions are designed only for participation.
The ex-player turned coach said development must take place at the community level.
“We learnt our cricket in the community and I’ve always said and will continue to say, schools cricket for the schools to compete against, it is for participation and there is never going to be any development in the schools. It is not designed for that so we have to get the communities organised,” he said.
“I have written a programme for the ministry which is an under-13 programme in the primary schools and obviously we would want the clubs to buy into it, so I think that is where we need to go. When a guy goes home from school, he goes back to his community and that is where the development has to take place,” he added.
Benjamin believes that once sports is well structured at the community level, schools across the country would benefit from the talent which would, in turn, serve to improve the various competitions.
“When you went to school you had good school competitions because everybody playing in their communities so when the guys from Liberta, Swetes and All Saints go to All Saints [Secondary] School, then All Saints has a strong team and I am sure it is the same with Pares. John Archibald would probably say he spends a lot of time in Pares but he spends a lot of time in the Bethesda community with a lot of the youngsters as well,” the former player said.
“If we don’t have a plan as to how we are going to move in whatever sport it is, and even if we don’t get it 100 percent right, the fact that there is a plan means there will be something to follow and something to measure success and failure,” he added. Benjamin, who is employed by the Ministry of Sports, is also president of the successful Liberta Sports Club.