Novice coach surprised by team and Black Caps

By David Haxton

Wildcats players and their coach had a masterclass with some of the Black Caps team.
Wildcats players and their coach had a masterclass with some of the Black Caps team.

With her junior cricket team struggling to win games, novice coach Melanie Snaddon knew she needed some help, and fast.

Melanie is the coach of the Kapiti Old Boys Cricket Club under 9 Wildcats team which has had a single win in the 11-team strong Horowhenua Kapiti T20 Smash league this season.

When she heard about ANZ's Get on Top of Your Game programme, which supports grassroots community teams around the country, she put in an application, to have her team mentored by a "competent coach".

The successful applicant would receive a cricket coaching masterclass for their team courtesy of Black Caps coach Mike Hesson and some senior players.

Her good-humoured application said she was the team's coach and didn't have a clue.

"I have a team of enthusiastic eight and nine year olds who love cricket but we have only won one game this season.

"I realise it's not all about winning but the kids are now expecting to lose and wondering by how much.

"The limited equipment we have is too big for the kids and only a few players have their own bats.

"Anything that would put a smile on the kids faces for the next half of the season would be appreciated."

Melanie, who took on the coaching role because no one else came forward, had no idea that her application was successful, but her team did.

They assembled at the Basin Reserve on Thursday with Hesson and a quartet of players — Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Todd Astle — and surprised her.

"I knew something was up but they didn't let slip."

She said the masterclass was "pretty exciting" and included batting, bowling and motivational tips.

"We definitely got a lot out of it."

Despite the number of losses, she had enjoyed being part of the game.

"But it has been good fun and they're a great bunch of kids."

The Wildcats took on the Kapiti Jr Meerkats on Saturday and lost 102 to 143 but on the bright side it was their second highest batting score.

The team has three more games left in the season.

- Kapiti News

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