He started out coaching the NMMU third cricket team in 2008 and today, the Head Coach of the Mecer NMMU Madibaz Cricket Club, is the NMMU Sport Coach of the Year for the second successive year.
NMMU University Shop Manager Baakier Abrahams’ love for cricket started at the tender age of 12, getting involved in what was then a Northern Areas academy at the Gelvandale sports fields..
But cricket was not the only sport he played. “I managed to stumble upon hockey by accident. I was in grade 9 and my then cricket coach thought it a good idea for me to give hockey a go. I was only 15 at the time playing with the grade 11s and 12s which was a bit intimidating. Ssince then, I haven’t looked back and went on to play first team in grade 12 and represent the Eastern Province men’s team. Hockey is very much my time away from cricket and a chance to unwind and keep myself fit at the same time,” he says.
When he started coaching the NMMU third cricket team in 2008, it was a good way to earn some extra spending money and something that came more naturally to him as opposed to being a waiter in a restaurant, “a tough and thankless job – I have great respect for waitrons!”.
“I managed to progress through the years in a number of roles until my appointment as Head Coach of the Mecer NMMU Madibaz Cricket Club in August 2012?.
Since matriculating, Baakier has not played or coached cricket at any club other than NMMU. As for coaching, he spent some time in Utrecht, the Netherlands as a player/coach which was a wonderful experience. At the time, they had a former Australian cricketer and Dutch national team coach at the club and he managed to learn a lot during his time there.
He was also the assistant coach at the Eastern Province Cricket Academy.
“No doubt one of my highlights so far was being appointed as head coach of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) national team in April 2014. To me, it was an indication that the work we are doing at NMMU as a cricket club – with a number of challenges ranging from facilities to a club house that needs some attention, to the lack of a proper drainage system on our fields – is testament to the passion and hard work of all those involved. Hopefully with the advent of Varsity Sport cricket in 2015, the University and Madibaz Sport will look to invest in a sporting code that has a strong history of success,” he says.
Baakier says his motivation comes from his enjoyment of the game and giving back to a sport that has given him so much. “Whether it’s coaching NMMU players who represent the Warriors or the provincial team, or coaching on a Friday afternoon with our lower league players and drawing from their enjoyment of the game, the fulfilment comes from watching the players grow and develop during their time at NMMU. My philosophy has always been to improve the players holistically, with a key focus on their academics as well as their cricket. We challenge them to continue to raise the bar in terms of what they think they can achieve personally and go beyond that.”
At the moment his focus is completely on the teams that he has been appointed to coach. Long term, his goal would always be to get involved in some or other way on a national level but there is still a long way to go before that could happen. Coaching is quite a volatile profession and things can change quickly in a positive or negative way so with a bit of luck he hopes to get there, he says.
“At the moment I have a Cricket South Africa level 3 qualification. Level 4 is the highest qualification attainable and one can only gain entry via invite by Cricket South Africa. That is something I aspire to achieve,” Baakier adds.
The following two tabs change content below.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/nmmu-sport-coach-of-the-year/42303/2014/10