Samantha Hickman is the Junior Development Coach and Player in Peru Country. She is part of the small Junior Development team. Cricket Peru providing free cricket programs to kids all over Lima in some of the poorer districts, helping to develop the communities and create a ‘cricket family and culture’ among the districts using the medium of cricket. She has done coaching with the Junior and Senior National Teams as well as been a player/coach for the Peruvian National Women’s Team. Currently, She is working/Volunteering at Cricket Peru as a Junior Development Officer as well as an English teacher here in Peru.
Excerpts from an Interview with Samantha Hickman from Peru Country by Tushar Sawant.
1. Tell us about you?
Full Name: Samantha Eloise Hickman
Date of Birth: 23/05/1994
Playing Role: All Rounder
Batting Style: Defensive, technical. Test Style, build an innings.
Bowling Style: Medium/Fast
Address: Lima, Peru
Country: I am a Dual Australian and British citizen, living and working in Peru.
2. At Present: Are you a Coach? A cricket player? A cricket related business? A Club Owner? Mention your work profile (if anything else).
At present, I am a Junior Development Coach in Peru. I am a part of the small Junior Development team we have here at Cricket Peru providing free cricket programs to kids all over Lima in some of the poorer districts, helping to develop the communities and create a ‘cricket family and culture’ among the districts using the medium of cricket.
3. Are you playing cricket currently? If Yes - Since how long are you playing cricket? What level of cricket have you played so far in your country?
I play cricket in Peru for the local league at Lima Cricket and Football Club. Whilst in Australia I played local club cricket with the men from the ages of 10 until 17 at South Croydon Cricket Club where I then progressed onto the Ringwood Rams District Cricket Club in Melbourne in the district 2nds Women’s league in Melbourne.
Since being in Peru I have coached the Junior and Senior National Teams as well as been a player/coach for the Peruvian National Women’s Team.
4. Do you play for any club or a team? Mention their names? When was it founded? Where are you working currently?
I played for South Croydon Cricket Club from the age of 10-17 and then I moved clubs to play for Ringwood Rams District Cricket Club (1901) in their first-ever Women’s Cricket Team before I came to Peru.
I play cricket at the Lima Football and Cricket Club in Lima while in Peru as well as I am a coach and player for the National Women’s team Las Vicuñas.
Currently, I am working/Volunteering at Cricket Peru as a Junior Development Officer as well as an English teacher here in Peru.
5. Where do you and your team see yourself in coming 5 years? Where do you want to focus in order to improve your cricket?
I would love to still be in South America developing a cricket culture in this part of the world. I think cricket is such an important sport and an incredible medium to use to promote social inclusion as well as the spirit of cricket, which I think is one of the most important things one can take from this sport.
I would love to have a role that would allow me to travel and use my languages to help oversee the different cricketing programs all over South America, (evidently after I have come to help out and understand how all the different programs in South America run, this would involve me travelling and helping out with the different projects over the next few years).
Ideally, in 5 years cricket in South America will be more of a priority to the ICC and we will be able to have more support as a whole for this continent so all the countries are better able to flourish.
Cricket in South America needs to run more cohesively and we need to work together to really create this cricketing culture over here and bridge the socio-economic gaps as well as the gender inequality that are so often evident within the sport, especially in this part of the world.
I would love to focus on really using cricket to promote equality in all senses, bridging the poverty gaps as well as empowering women and driving a mutual respect amongst men and women in sport in South America.
This is just a little dream for me, not sure if it will come to fruition, we shall see if I can make it a sustainable lifestyle for myself. I’m sure the right opportunities will arise and give way to new experiences that will lead me in exciting directions with Cricket. We shall see.
For my own cricket, I hope I can find some opportunities to be coached by people of an advanced level so that I continue bettering my own cricket and play at higher levels in South America and/or other parts of the world.
I have been coaching for a long time and although it is very rewarding to see your students flourishing, I would like to be challenged and pushed to get better in the same way I strive to help my students advance.
6. Do you have any website or facebook page? Mention their links.
CRICKET PERU JUNIORS FACEBOOK PAGE
CRICKET PERU WEBSITE
7. Any recent achievements/activities that you had. (It could be organizing a small camp, or just playing a match or organizing a cricket camp or playing a tournament series) Do mention the date.
At Cricket Perú Juniors we organize monthly tournaments for the kids. The most recent was on the 20th of May 2017 where we brought all the districts down from Lince, Pueblo Libre, Jesus Maria, San Miguel, Magdalena down to a synthetic football pitch in Magdalena by the beach to stage our monthly tournament.
In October I went to the Senior South American Cricket Championships in Rio (2016) as player/coach of the national women’s side Las Vicuñas.
More recently we received funding from the Australian Government Direct Aid Program that has allowed us to create a High-Performance Academy with a selection of 20 of the hardest working kids attending the 2-hour session each week on a Tuesday.
8. Would you like to come to India for a tournament or a coaching camp? Or do you want to travel any other country (if Yes, please mention the name)?
I would be open to traveling anywhere in the world to get new experiences in Cricket. It would be incredible to go to India one day to work over there with Cricket but for the moment I would love to work in South America, really helping to build the cricketing culture here.
9. What are the challenges you are facing in your country's cricket? If any, how do you feel to overcome those challenges?
The most difficult challenges we have are finding sufficient funding and resources to grow. We have a great program now with lots of kids playing each week but if we want to reach further into Lima we must find a way to train up more Peruvian adults to know and understand the game. Grassroots cricket works if you have the adult base already set up, but relying on foreigners to teach is not always sustainable as a lot of them will come and go. We need to create a sense of consistency for the kids where they have idols from their own country that are playing at a high level.
The program needs to be sustainable and it needs to allow the kids to see a clear pathway through to adulthood cricket.
At the moment we are training up 3 Peruvians coaches who are all doing really well (1 female, 2 male). We also did an introductory presentation of cricket at the IPD (National Institute of Sport in Peru) to 30 or so sports teachers that allowed us to get the sport out there to an older age base.
The aim is to really inspire people of all ages and genders to play cricket and also give them as many opportunities as possible to practice and get better.
10. One thing that you instantly need that would boost the involvement of people in your country's cricket?
More grass cricket pitches (free to use) so we can get the kids understanding the dynamic of the game, and so they can have a dive around for the ball. It is hard to inspire confidence in kids to dive for the ball when we are playing on hard surfaces such as concrete. We need more access to proper playing fields that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
11. Name any 3 active Cricket Clubs from your locality, Country. Also, mention the name and email id of these 3 clubs.
I am from Australia so I will put my old Cricket Clubs down. In Peru, there is one Lima Cricket and Football Club and then some teams within that Club that play casually so they don’t have emails etc.
1. Ringwood District Cricket Club (Australia)
2. Lima Cricket and Football Club (Lima)
3. South Croydon Cricket Club (Australia) http://www.southcroydoncc.com.au/