Steven Hallett is currently serving as National Development Officer at Cricket Peru, who is expanding Social Awareness, Community Development and integration, maintaining the spirit of the game. Steven designs and runs Coaching sessions and clinics as part of the Cricket Peru National Development Programme. School Cricket in Peru has taken a leap and the Junior programmes has opened a huge scope for nurturing young talents. A sincere focus is bestowed upon partnerships with local councils and commissariats, promoting more youth activities in place. He also mentions how Cricket was introduced to over 1500 children in over dozen schools of Peru and is currently operating as an volunteer entity. Steven has seen an exponential rise in the development and envisions a continuous growth of Cricket Peru.
1. Tell us about your first experience with Cricket? What age did you get in contact with Cricket?
Cricket is part of the growing experience for many children. Right from the outset you have a bat or ball in your hand playing against siblings, relatives or the next door neighbours in the garden, field, school, beach - wherever. My experience was no different.
2. Did you ever think of becoming a Cricket Development Officer? How did you get into this role?
I had never really considered achieving human development using cricket as a medium. However, given Peru’s socio-economic situation, cricket is now becoming a viable mechanism for such ends. As Peru’s expat community is quite transient, this role came up while thankfully, I was in a position to take it on.
3. What is most challenging thing about your job as Cricket Development Officer?
The most challenging aspect is creating awareness of cricket, sustained community relationships, negotiating the use of limited open spaces augmenting player participation while all the while propitiating synergies and sustainability in growing the game and fomenting human development.
4. How do you plan to uplift Junior Cricket and what are Junior programmes running throughout Country?
Junior programmes have been school-based which have formed a small yet functional base for national teams, although in a very narrow socio-economic parameter. Building upon this base Cricket Peru is now forming partnerships with local councils and commissariats who have youth activities in place. We are cooperating with said actors to access ready-made social groups in order to increment awareness and participation. Furthermore, we are focusing on Peruvian state schools, where the lack of plurality in their sports curriculum provides opportunities to expand into non-traditional areas. Offering introduction to cricket and coaching course to Peruvian teaching professionals complements these actions.
5. How important is school cricket in the development of the game? What measures are being taken to promote School Cricket?
School cricket is currently the cornerstone of Peruvian Junior system. As social structures tend not to foment community clubs but paid academy teams there has been too little emphasis in developing more community-based entities and systems. Due to the current difficulty in creating new structures that will occupy already scant sporting resources, the school system presently offers the most viable manner in fomenting cricket in Peru.
6. What is Peru Cricket capable of?
The Association is capable of sustainable fomenting, constructing and maintaining a dynamic cricket programme in the long term. It is a question of finding the right mixes of resources, strategies and actors.
7. What are the areas for improvement you see to be necessary in Peru's cricket?
As Cricket Peru is almost exclusively a volunteer entity, there are always shortcomings that a professional entity would have addressed. As such, Cricket Peru has to identify its strengths and opportunities to use these to lever Cricket Peru’s administration and attendant actions, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
8. What are the current development activities going on?
In 2015, Cricket Peru took cricket to well over 1500 students in a dozen schools. It is also running 5 summer academies, all of which Cricket Peru delivers for free to the participants. We are also cooperating with 4 municipalities and have weekly cricket activities open to all participants.
9. Which country's Cricket do you admire the most and why?
Ireland. Despite the cultural obstacles and a having an originally relatively small base both in terms of national expansion and players, they have become a success story at a playing, administration and cultural level.
10. A mentor / coach whom you would like to dedicate your success?
I’ll wait to I achieve what I call success before naming anybody. Having said that, my dad would be a shoe-in regardless.
11. Your advice to the youngsters taking up Cricket as a career?
Follow your goals and make sure you know where you are in relation to them at any given point.
12. One message that you would like to convey to all the Cricket developing Countries?
Be persistent and consistent, back up your word and treat all stakeholders with respect. Always plan and look for dynamic alternatives.
13. Your views on Global Cricket Community?
The community is a great way of learning of other experiences and strategies that may have portability for each particular environment.
Perhaps a more dynamic forum could be set up for airing specific administration or technical questions that members or visitors may have.
Also, a data base on cricket administration, coaching and other topics could well be of use for the global community.
All in all, I see an interesting mechanism that could create a true global community that seeks to foment Cricket at all levels.