Evany van Wyk
Africa Personnel Services (APS) has always been involved in cricket and this time they have invested in training 80+ learners from different club teams in Namibia to obtain their level 1 umpire certificates.
On 12 August, The Zone paid a visit to the Wanderers sport fields in Windhoek where Wynand Louw, a cricket umpire, mentor and trainer, is spearheading a two-day umpire training course. With vast experience in umpiring and cricket laws, Louw wishes to expose the younger generation and help them access more opportunities in future. The training course, for cricket players between the ages of 15 and 17, aims to encourage them to venture into umpiring. Louw is currently responsible for the sport ground’s maintenance and also the pitch preparation at Wanderers.
APS gave young cricket players the opportunity to enter and register for a training course which would give them the opportunity to act as umpires in some of the club matches that are to take place. The training mainly focuses on giving the players sufficient knowledge on the laws of cricket in order for them to be able to better understand the game. “At this moment the International Cricket Council Associates and Affiliates Umpire Panel has a shortage of umpires so this will give these young lads an advantage,” said Louw. According to him this will ensure that more umpires will get into the system. Not only will it help them in the future but will also help them as current cricket players.
An umpire is an official who watches the cricket game closely in order to enforce the rules. It is really ‘cricket’ for referee. “This will really help to improve our game and to see why umpires make certain decisions. Since I got here, I’ve learnt so much already,” said Michael Feely (15), one of the players who attended the training. He says that it’s important to encourage people to start playing cricket. “It’s a great team sport and most importantly, it’s not confined to one gender. Girls can also join,” said Feely.
“The one challenge experienced is getting the players to ask more questions and engage with me. The more questions they ask, the more they will learn,” said Louw. He further added that he had people come to him after training and tell him that they hadn’t known something before he had told them. “It just shows that they are truly learning something,” said Louw.
The training isn’t just for show so Louw constantly reminds the players to listen tentatively. After the training on the second day, they will be writing a test where they can choose to either write the introduction of the level one question paper. “After the test is evaluated they will then receive certificates which will enable them to umpire for some of the club matches,” said Louw.
Photos Evany van Wyk
P1- Wynand Louw, the umpire trainer explaining something to one of the attendees.
P2- Every attendee seemed to be enjoying the training session