During my week of work experience with Cricket Leinster, I learnt a lot about what a development officer does. I was based with Naomi Scott-Hayward for the week, so I got a first-hand experience about what skills are needed for the job and what the role entails.
During the week Naomi had meetings, school visits, coach education workshops, administration work and attended a seminar. For the week I was part of some of these tasks. While Naomi was at the National Seminar for Inclusion on Thursday, I got the chance to shadow her colleague Diarmuid Lynch in primary schools.
All together I assisted with 15 sessions between 6 different schools with both Naomi and Diarmuid, who works in the area with her. At these sessions we taught the students some basic cricket skills and played games. In both primary and secondary school sessions, we covered fundamental movement skills like coordination & balance as well as throwing, catching and striking the ball. I really enjoyed this aspect and even though I started out quiet, by the end of the week I felt like a real coach! It was really interesting to see how much someone could improve in one session and the amount of energy the students had never failed to surprise me.
I also helped with a bit of administration work. I organised new gear, checked emails and updated spreadsheets. I felt really productive doing this as well as satisfied when I finished each task. I surprised myself by enjoying this work and it was interesting to see what goes on outside of training sessions. The planning involved and the report processes to Cricket Leinster, Sport Ireland and South Dublin County Council are as important as delivering the sessions.
I realised that there is a lot of skills and tasks involved in being a development officer; communication and organisation are just the tip of the iceberg. Naomi works with clubs in the area, mainly Adamstown and Clondalkin, to make a development plan for the area. She identifies schools that are close to the grounds of the clubs and focuses on them first. She does her research and contacts them. If they are interested in development she will set up meetings, training sessions and more. She also runs events like coaching courses, blitzes and table cricket. She ensures that everyone can get involved and learn something new, no matter what abilities they have.
In conclusion, I learnt a lot in just one week of work experience. I did a lot of things I had never done before and met many new people. It was a great experience and I’m glad to be a part of what Cricket Leinster does.
Written by – Maria Kerrison (Mount Sackville)