ROMY Naidoo, head of Department for Science and Sport at Trenant Park Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal, has been named the KFC Mini-Cricket Coach of the Month for April. The award is in recognition of the hard work and dedication towards the volunteer coaches programme.
“It goes to show that hard work pays off,” said Naidoo on hearing of her win. “I hope that by winning this award it will encourage other educators to come on board and help me to take the KFC Mini-Cricket programme to the next level.”
Naidoo, who is also the coach of the KwaZulu-Natal women’s team, started coaching cricket in 1987 after completing her Degree in Education and has been coaching KFC Mini-Cricket since the sponsorship started.
“What inspires me is seeing how the new recruits into the programme, some as young as six and seven years old, develop the love for the game and with this excitement skills start to show. I have identified a number of players that have gone on to better things,” said Naidoo.
One of her key successes is 19 year old Prenelan Subrayen who is currently with the Dolphins and captained the SA Under 19 team. “I first met Prenelan when he was 8 years old. After a while I saw how he improved and the great potential he had so I sent him to a programme with older boys to give him tougher competition and he has never looked back.”
Naidoo is also inspired by the human interest stories. “A couple of years back a father brought his son to the programme one day and I invited his five year old brother to join us. The next week I arrived at the ground very early to set up and there were the father and 5 year old son sleeping in the car. I went over to find out what was happening to be told the youngster woke them all up at 5am and was so excited to come to cricket he made his father bring him along early to wait.”
There are almost 6 000 volunteer coaches in the KFC Mini-Cricket programme who generously give their time and skills to ensure that the 85 000 children from 3 500 schools that participate in the KFC Mini-Cricket programme can be coached 365-day a year. With both CSA and KFC looking at expanding the programme, this number is set to increase significantly next season.
To broaden the intake for KFC Mini-Cricket further, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has expanded the programme to include pre-schoolers, differently-abled children, and increased the age group for girls to the age of 13. CSA also plans to support government’s rural development programme which will take KFC Mini-Cricket to more of South Africa’s rural areas.
For more information or to register your school for KFC Mini-Cricket log on to www.kfc.co.za/minicricket or contact CSA at (011) 880 2810.