HPA sets sights on new heights

The applications for the Gary Kirsten Cricket High Performance Academy 2019 have been completed with an exciting group of 12 international players and 4 local players to attend this elite course from January to March next year. This is the 5th year the GKC HPA will be running and year by year the course continues to improve along with the quality of the player intake. In a revised and refined program this year players will have an even greater contact time in a One on One capacity with coaches including Gary Kirsten.

Heading up the program this year is Adi Birrell, who is world renowned in the coaching circles for his successful stints as Head Coach of the Ireland National Cricket Team and Assistant Coach for the Proteas from 2014-2017. He has also recently been appointed Head Coach of the Paarl Rocks in the new Mzanzi Super League T20 competition in South Africa. Adi brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in a unique way and having joined GKC last year for a stint at the HPA is excited by this year’s program. “The numerous brilliant performances achieved by the 2018 HPA attendees indicates there were improvements to their individual games. I look forward to meeting the new intake and guiding them through an intense program which I am sure will bring lasting improvements.”

This year, players’ will receive individualized training along with a selection of additional interventions to take their games to the next level. Ryan Cook, Director of High Performance at GKC said, “In our quest to provide the most value to the players, their program is customizable to their needs to level up. It is so exciting to see players progress throughout the program and the cheery on the top is when they perform in the seasons to come. This year sees a unique occurrence that 4 players from the HPA in 2018 will be returning to continue the work that was done last year which is encouraging and exciting.”

The training facilities at GKC Headquarters are primed and ready for high quality practice and matches which are a hallmark of the program. This allows players to be prepared for the upcoming season through access to the variety of the offerings at the Constantia Sports Centre. The players will also have access to specialists in their given areas of expertise and having continuity with these support staff is instrumental in the program’s success and the improvement of the players from a holistic point of view.

When asked about the High Performance Academy in its 5th year, Gary Kirsten said, “Once again, we have players from all around the world joining us to find the best version of themselves as cricketers and people. Exploring potential and being able to play a role in the growth of a player is a special experience.” He continued, “It is encouraging that many of the players are returning for a second year and we welcome the new players to what can be a career and even life changing couple of months with the team”.

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