Johannesburg – Wednesday 29 September saw in excess of 120 children from Sefikeng Primary School receive not only a donation of mini-cricket equipment, but also a helping hand from the Lions Cricket coaches going forward.
Cricket Service Manager for Lions Cricket, Reuben Mandlazi said that the focus of the day was on making the game of cricket more accessible as well as it forming part of the co-curricular;
“The conversation was started between CSA mass participation manager David Mokopanele and Mr Ephraim Khodumo from Leeuwkop Prison who arranged a meeting with the Sefikeng Primary School Principle Mrs. Lindiwe Molefe. For that we are most grateful. The gentlemen realised that there is a potential to start a programme that can impact on kids within this area originating from townships such as Diepsloot. The children thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the coaching programme and subsequent matches. Many had not played the game before, so it was interesting to see how they received the game. There was great excitement around the batting and bowling through the assistance of the Lions Cricket coaches and their school teachers – all of whom will be receiving training from our Union in order to be able to continue with the programme.”
CSA Mass Participation Manager David Mokopanele believes that this is just the start.
“Our motto as Cricket SA is once we start, we must continue. This is an introduction and we are looking forward to seeing the youngsters one day playing for our national team. We strive to grant an opportunity to each and every child to experience this lovely game of cricket.”
Mr. Khodumo stated that he believes that there is nothing stopping these kids from becoming the next cricket legends. “Who says the next Kagiso Rabada cannot come from Diepsloot ? If we join hands in bringing educational opportunities to children whether in sports or through other mediums, we add value to them and show them that the sky’s the limit – you just have to practice and work hard in life.”
School Principle, Mrs. Lindiwe Molefe further thanked Cricket SA, Lions Cricket, Mr. Khodumo and Correctional Services who she states have always been lending a helping hand to Sefikeng School.
“This is the first time something like this happened and it is something I could not have imagined could take place in such a short period of time. We had our first meeting a few days ago and today it is happening with Mini-Cricket SA,” she added with a smile.
The mini-cricket programme is a cornerstone for talent identification at grassroots level for both Lions Cricket and Cricket South Africa. This is where it all started for many who are currently playing for the Proteas team.
“We look forward to long standing relationship with the school and all stakeholders,” concluded Mr Mandlazi.
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