WICB and Harlequin sign deal for school training programme

St John’s, Antigua – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Harlequin Hotels & Resorts (Harlequin) have signed a significant development deal for a Secondary Schools Cricket Training Programme, which will be provided to 10 schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines.


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The training programme, which falls under the WICB age group cricket initiative, will be conducted after school for three hours per week and is open to all children in the selected schools.

WICB-accredited coaches will provide the training, and all necessary kit and equipment will be supplied.

WICB CEO, Dr. Ernest Hilaire, said of the agreement: "This represents another significant step in the WICB’s programme to broaden the development and training at the grassroots level, which will ensure that more kids develop a love for cricket and learn basic drills about the different facets of cricket."

"We are delighted that Harlequin have come onboard as a partner in the development of cricket and welcome them to the West Indies cricket family. We look forward to a fruitful relationship," Dr. Hilarie added.

A highlight of the programme will be a new annual Youth Cricket Tournament, hosted by Harlequin in St Vincent. Part of the agreement will also see the WICB provide coaches for Harlequin’s 5 star luxury destination, Buccament Bay Resort, to carry out cricket coaching for guests.

Dave Ames, CEO of Harlequin, shared his excitement for the announcement: "This programme promises to be of great and lasting value to all involved, and I’m very proud to help the WICB deliver this significant investment in the future of St Vincent and its people.

"Just as with Harlequin’s involvement in other Caribbean initiatives, like the Liverpool FC Academy Soccer School we helped to launch for local schools and football clubs in Barbados last year, the goal is to engage, inspire, and nurture talent. You never know, we might discover the next Brian Lara while we’re at it!

Ames went on: "I’m also delighted to confirm that the WICB will help Harlequin deliver the Buccament Bay Resort Cricket Academy, which will open in April 2012, providing guests with year-round coaching by WICB-trained coaches and a series of master classes taught by cricketing legends. Importantly, it’ll also create more opportunities for Harlequin to engage and work with the local community."

The Secondary Schools Cricket Training Programme will run for three years and is being conducted with the support and sanction of the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines. It is hoped that the WICB and Harlequin can expand the programme to other Caribbean territories.

Harlequin specialises in creating 5 star, eco-conscious, luxury resorts in some of the best locations in the Caribbean and destinations worldwide. In addition to Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent, Harlequin is creating hotels and resorts in St Lucia, Barbados and the Dominican Republic.