Caption: Participants at a ‘Give it Go’ clinic in Sigatoka. Photo: SUPPLIED
Not even half a year into the shake-up of Cricket Fiji’s Development Program, the numbers are in, and the signs are already promising.
Since Saiasi Fuli took the helm as Development Manager at the start of 2014, he implemented a new strategic plan for Cricket Fiji’s Development Program, which included working more closely with the Fiji National Sports Commissions, expanding the Development Program across a more diverse geographical area, and more structured reporting.
Although over the past two years Cricket Fiji has averaged approximately 25,000 participants per annum, the new structure of the program allows for a more detailed analysis of it’s growth across specific sectors and demographics. Already in the first and second quarter of this year, Cricket Fiji has reached 150 schools, which includes a total of 9242 students – 5454 male and 3788 female – at the primary school level, who have participated in clinics and training sessions, as well as the new structured competition for primary schools.
In the secondary school sector so far 16 schools have been reached (mainly form three and four students), with their competition due to start later on in term two. Meanwhile so far in 2014 Fijian special schools have received 27 visitations from Cricket Fiji Development Officers, reaching a total of 673 students – 415 male and 258 female.
The most noticeable change in cricket’s Development Program has been it’s increased participation in programs outside of the traditional school sector. So far in 2014 this has included the Kids Cricket Outreach Program, the ‘Give it a Go’ Program’, and the school holiday Sports Camp held at Vodafone Arena in Suva, which have all been run in conjunction with the Fiji National Sports Commission. In total these programs have amassed 2098 participants – both youths and school students – in urban areas, but also in never-before reached regions for cricket, including Kadavu, Bukuya and Wainunu.
This brings the total number of participants reached by Cricket Fiji’s Development Program so far in 2014 to a massive 12,013. Whilst Fuli admits that although at this stage this figure does not necessarily tell us much, he says it is a promising sign of things to come for the development of cricket in Fiji.
Fuli added he looks forward to monitoring the continual growth of the program during the year’s third quarter, and is excited about the prospect of a new program with the Ministry of Health that has the potential to introduce a whole new demographic of children to the sport of cricket.