On 25 & 26 January, Casteller CC in Paese (near Venice) hosted its first official Federazione Cricket Italiana (FCrI) Istruttore Federale coach education course at Casteller Scuola Media, a local middle school.
The course, co-led by Kelum Perera (Cricket Development Officer for FCrI) and Richard O’Sullivan (ICC-Europe Coach Consultant), officially qualifies participants to introduce cricket in schools on behalf of the FCrI; however the participant has to prove competence via a short assessment of their cricket knowledge, demonstration skills, and child protection and safety knowledge.
The main driving force behind the project, Rosy Giunta, is the school’s PE teacher and such is her enthusiasm she now sits on Federazione Cricket Italiana’s Development Committee. The running of the course was a significant development outcome in itself as over the last two years Perera has offered his expertise to Castellar CC within the school, but there was no formal coaching programme in place. The project has also been supported by local residents from a mixture of cricketing backgrounds so that the club could field a team in the Italian Serie C last year.
The two-day course covers not just the basic skills and terminology of cricket, but also the teaching styles that may be effective in enthusing the youth of Veneto. To this end, Perera and O’Sullivan were able to combine the diverse skills of the seven local PE teachers with the 13 enthusiastic adult cricketers who attended the course. Encouragingly, some of the course participants originated from other clubs local to Paese, so in time a local competition for both adults and juniors may develop.
Feedback from the course was very positive and most participants proved themselves to be competent in being able to offer cricket to schools. An ECB Level 1 coaching course is now in the planning for Paese for later in the year.