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Kumar Rampat the doctor of cricket
“Come on man get that bat coming down straight!” A familiar sound that pierces the silence of the night, if you are in the vicinity of the K Rampat Cricket Academy in California, Central Trinidad.
It’s the voice of Kumar Rampat, the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Territorial development officer, into his element at his wonderfully appointed coaching academy. The stocky Rampat was born to coach and even during his playing days at Clarke Road, he was drawn to coaching. Sometimes he would bowl his left arm orthodox spinners and see a horrible shot by and the batsman and be tempted to go down the track to help him sort out the shot. Such was his passion for coaching and today he is using that same passion to help hundreds of cricketers from the very top level right down to the beginner.
The K Rampat Cricket Academy began in an official capacity in 2012 but it is a culmination of the work of Rampat which began a long time before.
In 2008, Kumar took a group of boys, rented the Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre and began coaching on Monday evenings from 7 to 10 pm. Parents contributed to the paying for the Centre and the coaching was done on terms of gratis. This programme continued for the next three to four years and when his second son, Krishan Vasudev Rampat had to complete a Business Plan to complete his degree at UTT, the model was already there to follow.
Krishan drafted his business in which inductees and trainees would pay a small fee, coaches hired and paid, and a coach-player ratio kept at a minimum for effective teaching and coaching. Krishan tested his plan around July/ August 2012 and it was a successful enterprise.
In 2012, the K Rampat Cricket Academy was formally begun. However, it must be remembered that in actual terms it was effectively a continuation of the work started in 2008.
For the next two years several venues were utilised, some of which were Carapichaima East Secondary, Bamboo Government Primary, Beaucarro Recreation, Youngsters Ground in Felicity. No ground could have been reliably secured and the numbers were now swelling to two scores and ten and thereabouts.
There were now five of six coaches who displayed high coaching standards and personal values. Kumar had carefully hand-picked these guys from several coaching workshops he had conducted from previous years in Coaching Education. No coach had more than ten children.
He also contended that by that time they had the best coaching staff at any school at any one time in the country. The staff included three level III’s, three level II’s and a level 1 and a Foundation Coach. Kumar had personally hand picked these guys.
They were dedicated, industrious, had a fair amount of coaching knowledge, possessed a good sense of humour and best of all they were willing to learn.
With regards to roving from venue to venue due to several mitigating factors, and with the attendance growing, it became clear that KRCA needed a home.
Kumar consulted with his brother Krishna Rampat who occupied their parented home in California and soon construction of the indoor nets commenced. It took more than a year to complete but the premises now boasts two nets, one with a fast bowling run up of 21 yards, an office area, gents and ladies toilets and bath, a gym area, an incomplete dormitory area and an area identified for a home-work centre.
Kumar intimated that he has been involved in development and enhancement work, since he started teaching at nineteen years old. Helping children develop a strong mind, a healthy body, and high personal standards and values is what his life has spoken to over these years.
The K Rampat Cricket Academy is now an attractive haven for beginners to experts. A sizeable contingent of national senior team players now visit their indoor nets on a regular basis. Other parents and children who visit from time to time are extremely happy with the quality of coaching administered. Among them are the likes of Kjorn Ottley, Yannick Ottley, Steven Katwaroo, Brian Charles and Anderson Philip.
Kumar attributes the success of his academy to work hard and long hours. “I take personal interest in every child who comes to my academy, however young or inexperienced. I try to light the fire of success in his belly. There are no compromises. I sit with the parent and outline objectives and plan of action. The parents know what I am about and how I am going to achieve my goals. One day a week is not enough so I give homework-small tasks that the child can work on and simple enough for the parents to understand and supervise or administer as the case may be.