February 23, 2012
Jatin Patel, USYCA's 2nd Vice President, recently attended the ICC Level One coaching course in Dallas, Texas. The course was led by ICC Regional Development Officer Wendell Coppin. It is hoped that this will be the precursor of many such courses across the USA, which desperately needs trained coaches.
Patel, a multi-sport athlete in his young days and a former high school soccer coach and official, expressed his view on taking cricket to schools.
"Such coaching camps are not just for the cricket playing community, which is mostly Immigrants, but we must include American teachers and expand our cricket program in USA at the youth level," said Patel.
"USA cricket is a huge gold mine with full of uncut diamonds. More than half million kids and youth play baseball or softball, and top of that even small towns in the USA have baseball and or softball grounds," Patel said. "It's unfortunate that we haven't reached them to explore cricket. USYCA is providing free cricket sets for schools and it's time to also provide them with basic and fundamental cricket training. But to do this, we need more coaches and it will take time, but if you love cricket then our job is to never quit.
"We have very large number of cricket lovers in America from around the world," said Patel. "If everyone commits to coach just one school or even just a few American-born children every year, cricket would take its place in American families just as soccer did in last twenty-five years. In fact, I think that cricket can move much faster than soccer, as we have a larger cricket community than soccer had twenty-five years ago.
"It's time to move forward and involve more youth in USA cricket, and USYCA is there to help in this mission."
Patel also delivered a USYCA American Cricket Champ set and training to Beech Grove City Schools, located in the Indianapolis, Indiana area.
Kelley Newman, PE teacher at South Grove Intermediate School, was impressed with the USYCA Schools Program.
"First of all, thanks to Mr. Jatin Patel for the cricket set and initial instructions to launch program at our schools," said Newman.
"I was definitely interested in such a program at the school levels here in the USA for a long time. My husband is from South Africa, and loves cricket! I personally have been to The Ashes in Australia on Boxing Day and absolutely loved it," Newman said.
"Now that I have a good understanding of the game, I am extremely excited to be a part of bringing the game of cricket to young students in the USA. Thanks to the USYCA project, students across the USA are being provided opportunities to learn how to play the game of cricket," said Newman.
"In my 5 years of teaching Physical Education, I have always wanted to incorporate cricket, but unfortunately did not have the proper equipment," Newman said. "I would love to have further instruction on the best way to teach cricket. I could teach the game with my husband's help, but I think the students would love to learn more from Mr. Jatin Patel, who is experienced cricket player, a professional coach and has great knowledge of the game. His offer to provide coaching camps and clinics at our school will be wonderful opportunity to know more about cricket. Learning the game, along with technical knowledge and skills from the pro is an amazing experience for all students.
"Our Physical Education classes would be using the equipment. Also, if I have enough equipment, I would like to make a set available for classroom use at activity time (recess). The amount of equipment available for use at activity time is rather low. These cricket sets would help keep the students stay active in an organized game throughout activity time. This equipment can also be used to create an after school program," said Newman.
"As the Physical Education teacher at South Grove Intermediate School, I will try my very best to promote and expose my students to the game of cricket in the Beech Grove City area, through PE lessons, activity time games, and after school opportunities," Newman said.