“It was well over two decades ago when Dennis Williams, better known as the Merchant, sang Pan In Danger. Wherever he is now, he must be smiling, because things are going to turn around.”
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WIRPF plans big things for Windies
The West Indies Retired Players Foundation (WIRPF) has major plans to assist former and current West Indies players improve their lives, while developing West Indies cricket for generations to come. At a press conference held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel yesterday, Dr Nigel Camacho, the acting chairman of WIRPF, said that coaching and mentorship will be part of the process. “Alot of past players would like to assist in coaching current players, and what the foundation realises is that the past players need coaching qualifications.” The WIRPF plans to make short coaching courses available to past players so they will become qualified coaches. Many young players will also rub shoulders with former West Indian greats in a mentorship programme. Camacho said: “In terms of mentorship, it is another aspect where we want to create a structured programme, where alot of heroes can reach out to young players, the players (past) will love to mentor some of these young players.”
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is supporting the WIRPF by helping out financially. The West Indies Players Association (WIPA), led by president Wavell Hinds, is also actively involved in WIRPF’s plans. Camacho stated the main purpose of the foundation is to make players lifes comfortable after they retire. “We want players to be the best they can be after their playing days are over.” The acting chairman said it is not only about assisting former players financially but putting measures in place to help past players generate income, such as coaching jobs.
Carole Beckford, special assistant to the president of the WICB Dave Cameron, stated that the foundation will help current players manage their money because the money management practices of professional athletes are not the best. The foundation will also aid in the distribution of bursaries and scholarships to young cricketers who wish to pursue tertiary education.
Camacho confirmed that the WIRPF has plans to assist the West Indies women in the future.