By LAURA MACINTOSH
Experienced and new cricketers alike were delighted to be a part of a series of clinics conducted by former White Ferns Coach, Katrina Keenan, in the Western division this past Tuesday.
Katrina, who as well as coaching the New Zealand women’s team also played in and captained the side to a World Cup victory in 2000, volunteered her time whilst travelling to Fiji on holidays with her family.
Also formerly the coach of the Japan national women’s team, who up until recently were the East-Asia Pacific (EAP) region’s champions, Katrina was keen to see the state of women’s cricket in a fellow EAP nation.
Katrina conducted three one-hour clinics at Jasper Williams High School and Natabua High School in Lautoka, as well as at Ratu Navula College in Nadi, and said she was extremely impressed with the natural abilities of the participants, many of who were new to the game of cricket.
“They’re natural-born hitters,” she said, “probably naturally better than kids in Australia and New Zealand, the only difference is they have access to a larger range of coaches and programs (in Australia and New Zealand).”
Katrina conducted her final clinic in Nadi with the women’s tram from Nakavu village, the only village in Nadi that plays organised cricket.
She found the women’s enthusiasm and passion for the game an inspiration, in what is worldwide traditionally a male dominated sport. She particularly commended Cricket Fiji’s female development officers, who had dedicated their career to the game of cricket, setting a great example for their families and communities alike.
Overall Katrina said she hopes that more girls cricket teams can be formed at schools in the Western division, as that very well could be where Fiji’s next national representative comes from.