Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Old Mutual Heath Streak Cricket Academy has made additions to its technical setup as it strengthens its endeavour to become an ultimate school of cricket in the country.
Established in 2014 in Bulawayo before expanding to Harare two years ago, the academy has occasionally used national team cricketers to train children and up-and-coming players at its centres.
It has also been using the services of aspiring cricket coaches with coaching badges to train the Under-11 to Under-18s age groups.
Joseph Rego, the academy’s chief executive officer, confirmed the technical additions, which he said are in line with Heath Streak’s desire to give aspiring coaches a platform to further their skills.
The academy’s administrator Carrie-Anne Lees has been appointed head of the management team, assisting head coach Shaun Joseph in spearheading grassroots development.
Mountaineers cricketer Tafadzwa Muzarawethu has announced his retirement and been roped in as coach of the grassroots development team.
Dean Mangongo, a coach at St John’s College in Harare and son to former Under-19 and national team gaffer Steve Mangongo, has also assumed a coaching role at the academy.
Ray Kasimo and Shayne Chigumbura are part of the Bulawayo-based technical team.
“It is my ultimate goal to turn the Old Mutual Heath Streak Academy into a school of cricket and my vision of hiring professionals at the management and coaching level is bound to turn my dream into reality,” said Rego.
Rego revealed that national team skipper Sean Williams has been occasionally visiting the academy to impart professional training to the children and boost their morale.
He said Williams has been offering youngsters an opportunity to showcase their talent, hoping they may represent the country in future.
Rego said the academy plans to sponsor these coaches to travel to South Africa and achieve their Level 1 and Level 2 certificates so that the academy benefits from a high level of coaching at the institution.
The academy has also been offering training sessions during the Covid-19 lockdown after the Government gave cricket the green light to return.
Rego said they have been adhering to “stringent measures to ensure that Covid-19 restrictions are in place and that every child visiting the academy abides by the rules and regulations stipulated by the Sports and Recreation Commission”. — @ZililoR