– 200 schools this season
Eight lucky teams representing the eight zones of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)/Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)/Ministry of Education(MoE)/Scotia Bank-sponsored Kiddy Cricket competition will have the opportunity to showcase their skills when the second-one day match between West Indies and England is contested at the Providence National Stadium next month.
The competition, which was launched yesterday at the GCB office, saw GCB president Chetram Singh praising the main sponsors Scotia Bank for the10-year commitment to the development of cricket from the primary level.
According to Singh exposing youths (pupils) at that very young age to the game helps them to stimulate an early interest and passion for the game. He added that Scotia Bank’s continued support for youth cricket was likely to encourage a wider participation by pupils; provide an opportunity to experience the joys of the game, to have fun and to develop early cricketing skills in conjunction with the development of their motor skills in developing teamwork and coordination.
The $1.3M sponsored competition which bowls off on February 25, will see the first set of games taking place between schools from East Georgetown and North Georgetown at the Police Sports Club, Eve Leary ground. The tournament, according to Singh, could attract some 200 schools throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. Meanwhile, Territorial Development Officer, Colin Stuart, announced that the games will be played in a 10/10 format where each team will field 10 players and face 10 possible overs.
The teams though, must be made up of six boys and four girls.
The age group targeted according to Stuart was between 9-11 years of age. Stuart added that originally there were 13 zones which were reduced to eight by merging some of the zones. The zones that the eight winners will come from are Berbice, West Berbice, Mahaica/East Coast, East Bank, Upper Demerara, East Bank Essequibo/West Demerara, Essequibo Coast and Georgetown.
Singh said this year the Kiddy Cricket programme will be taken to the schools where training will be provided by GCB coaches.
“The GCB presently has seven coaches on staff and an additional six will be contracted to assist with the game,” he said.
Additional coaching staff will come from the bank itself.
Scotia Bank’s Manager of Products and Marketing, Jennifer Cipriani-Nelson, noted that from a humble beginning with only 87 schools on board the bank has now worked with over 2,500 schools in the Caribbean. Cipriani-Nelson added that the pride the bank has in being associated with the youths was that, “It encourages children to not only acquire an interest and passion for cricket, but also it strengthens their interpersonal skills, self-confidence and self-discipline.”
Cipriani-Nelson said that over the 10 years that Scotia Bank has been involved with West Indies cricket numerous cricket kits have been handed out countrywide but this was not their only aim.
“Education and shaping the mind of youths is also one of plusses”, Cipriani declared.
Meanwhile, commenting on the budget for 2009 the Singh said that an increase of $100,000 was realized but said that some 30 more schools are involved.