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The French speakers of Vanuatu schools could be in for a surprise when cricket coaches come calling, reports Nick Cassidy
At the beginning of this week, cricket was as foreign as a cobra snake to the first and second year student teachers from the Vanuatu Institute of Teachers Education (VITE). But now they can count themselves amongst the millions of fans the sport has worldwide.
Fifty student teachers from VITE have spent the past week learning the intricacies of cricket, including the basic rules of the game and the skills needed to play, at an education course hosted by the Vanuatu Cricket Association.
When they graduate, the teachers will move into schools throughout the islands of Vanuatu armed with the skills to teach children about the game. And given all 50 of them will be moving into French speaking schools, the course has been an excellent opportunity for the VCA to establish connections with dozens of new schools around the entire country.
As well as learning the basic rules and how to umpire and score, the student teachers were taken through batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping drills, as well as warm up activities and plenty of games. The VCA’s development program concentrates on participation, and an education course such as this one is no different.
Teachers can encourage children to become involved in cricket if they are involved in the game themselves. So rather than concentrate on the theory of the game, the VCA staff spent most of the week involving all the young teachers in games and practical activities.
The student teachers took to the game with remarkable ease: all games were played in the right spirit and everyone participated in all the drills and games.
Even the rules of the game and the methods of scoring junior cricket were picked up surprising easily. The VCA is hopeful its relationship with VITE can continue long into the future, as education courses like this are exactly how the game will spread effectively through Vanuatu
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