Photo Credit: Cricket South Africa
New Brighton Hub is one of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) newer additions to the Hubs and Regional Performance Centres (RPC) programme but the facility has already made significant strides in helping transform the game in the country.
Based at the Jendamark United Cricket Club, the Hub services 20 schools, both primary and secondary, in the area with 205 learners on its database.
Riaan Jeggels is head coach after joining three years ago. The 41-year-old is a former Eastern Province and Warriors batsman, who enjoyed a nine-year professional career as a player during which he also spent time playing in England, Ireland and the Netherlands.
He is a Level 2 accredited coach and is hoping to move to Level 3 once he is nominated to do so. In the meantime, he continues to serve New Brighton with distinction, working with players from between the ages of eight and 19 to try and bring through the next generation of players from previously disadvantaged communities.
“We are very happy to attract these players from disadvantaged areas and give them opportunities to play the game,” he said.
Under the guidance of Jeggels, the club consists of two high school and two primary school coaches as well as two coaches for the girls – one of whom is a female. The Hub utilises four fields, namely Union Grounds, New Brighton Oval, Cillie High School, KK Ncwane Primary School.
“Our coaches regularly visit schools to identify talent that has the potential to play for the Hub elite squad,” the coach explains. “Another way of finding talent is when the Hub hosts inter-school matches where they identify players who are good enough to make the step-up to the next level.
The elite squad is coached at the New Brighton Oval in preparation for matches in the Eastern Province Youth Schools League.”
The Hub also aids learners academically through the National Youth Service (NYS) programme, although they are still striving to strike the right balance with those that are assisting.
When it comes to the Hubs, they have widely been praised as being the perfect example of the Hub partnership with communities and private sector after receiving a sponsorship from Jendamark Automation.
Over the years the Hub has seen plenty of players graduate towards higher honours. Some of those names are Siphokazi Nazo, Aphilile Adonis, Asanda Mbodla, Aluncedo Dunga, Aphilile Adonis,
Asanda Mbodla and Amber Botha (all women’s provincial). Nazo and Botha are also their national representatives, while on the men’s front, Du Preez Stander is at the Eastern Province Academy.
Jeggels is pleased with the overall progress of the Hub and the steps CSA has taken to make cricket a more inclusive sport, adding: “The Hubs programme is brilliant because it gives under privileged kids in the township an opportunity to make it in the sport and to learn more about our beautiful game.
This programme is a tool that makes the game of cricket accessible to all and provides a clear path from grassroots to Proteas.”