By LAURA MACINTOSH
Cricket Fiji’s High Performance Manager, Joe Rika, has returned to Suva after completing the first residential component of the Level 3 Coaching Course with Cricket Australia.
Joe was invited to partake in the course at Brisbane’s National Cricket Centre (NCC) after being nominated by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) East-Asia Pacific (EAP) office.
“It takes a whole year to complete the course and I’m looking forward to it,” Joe said upon his return to Fiji.
“I will have a lot of support at assistance from the ICC EAP, Cricket Fiji and the NCC so I don’t feel any pressure.”
Joe said the course had a strong focus on High Performance programs and coaching structures, and that coaches from Australia’s National Cricket Centre, including current Australian Head Coach, Darren Lehmann, facilitated the course.
Joe added he thought Lehmann and the Australian cricket team were a fantastic example of how focusing on a team’s culture can impact positively in their performance on the field.
“His focus is on the boys enjoying their cricket, rather than them being stressed,” he said. “Over the past few years Fiji have sort of lost their style of play…but now we are rebuilding our structures and trying to create a new culture, which we think will hope us cement a new style of how we play.”
Joe added that the addition of Shane Jurgensen to Cricket Fiji’s High Performance Unit as National Coach is crucial to the plan of Fiji’s rise back through the ranks of the World Cricket League.