Monday, April 29, 2013
KFC MINI-CRICKET COACH OF THE MONTH FOR MARCH - NOMATHEMBISA CUKWANA
Each month a special individual within the KFC Mini-Cricket programme is awarded with the KFC Mini-Cricket Coach of the Month Award. Nomathembisa Cukwana, a teacher at Qhiphu Senior Primary School in Tabankulu, is March’s winner after being recognised as an exemplary mentor to the young cricketers in the Kei cricket region.
Originally very involved in coaching netball, Nomathembisa was introduced to the game of cricket by Kenneth Sixhwaru, a friend of hers who noticed her unique leadership potential early on. “He saw how popular I was with the netball girls and thought that I could bring the same kind of motivation and inspiration into cricket to help kids get active.”, said Nomathembisa when asked how she was introduced into the KFC Mini-Cricket programme.
Nomanthembisa is one of over 7 000 volunteer coaches who are finding new and interesting ways to get kids involved in cricket, providing that vital first step in Cricket South Africa’s pipeline to the Proteas. This vital role is of course not without its challenges. Challenges that Nomanthembisa is mindful of and addresses accordingly; “Kids are usually very energetic and tend to lose attention fast. Role playing is one of the biggest elements I use in order to make sure that I get kids active in cricket. We sometimes create games where the kids get to play as their favourite cricketing heroes before training, or even a match.”, says Nomanthembisa who sees the merits in dealing with the kids on a personal level.
Prior to getting involved in the KFC Mini-Cricket programme, Nomanthembisa had never played any form of cricket. Her love of sport and inquisitiveness however, led her to join the Khaya Majola Kei Cricket Workshops, where she got to learn the ins and outs of the game.
From this sound foundation, Nomanthembisa also believes that much can be learned from watching the game’s big names live on the field. Her Proteas heroes are AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, two players whose techniques and abilities she monitors closely in order to provide more to her KFC Mini-Cricketers.
With 16 Provincial KFC Mini-Cricket festivals held annually throughout South Africa along with countless other smaller festivals, over 100 000 boys and girls from over 4 500 schools are benefitting from the efforts of passionate individuals like Nomanthembisa.
Though she is just one person in this programme, her passion and drive to include others has seen her acquire two assistants at Qhiphhu Senior Primary School who are following in her footsteps. “I have proven to them that if you are willing to try hard and work at something that you are passionate in, you can make a difference.”, says Nomanthembisa reflecting on her efforts that led to this unique award which she considers the highlight of her coaching career thus far.
Together with the title of KFC Mini-Cricket Coach of the Month, Nomanthembisa also receives a trophy, a cap and KFC vouchers worth R1 000. A well deserved prize for someone who like KFC, believes that through Mini-Cricket, many children are able to live active lifestyles. Lifestyles that are helping kids fulfill their natural potentials and enjoy a better tomorrow.