Little cricketers, big aspirations!
If Proteas coach Ottis Gibson had been there to witness the young talent at the annual KFC Mini Cricket Festival, hosted at the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Vanderbijlpark, the likes of AB de Villiers, JP Duminy and Kagiso Rabada would surely have had something to worry about.
During this event players as young as six years old were showing off their skills with bat and ball. They were among the more than 500 youngsters representing 18 schools in the Gauteng province who took part in this year’s festival, making it one of the largest events in the province.
This was the fifth time that the campus was hosting this popular event, which saw the NWU and the Gauteng Cricket Board collaborating with KFC to guarantee a fun-filled day for the youngsters.
Time to pad up
The festival started off with a team parade and a motivational talk by Dr Liandi van den Berg, a lecturer at the NWU’s department of Sport Management, joined by colleagues Fanie Roos and Jackie Bonnema.
A meet-and-greet with players from the Central Gauteng Lions cricket team followed, and then it was time to pad up and score some runs.
Dr Anita Lennox, a senior lecturer with the School of Management Sciences, was one of the organisers. She says the aim of the annual festival is to offer children between the ages of six and nine the opportunity to enjoy physical exercise while learning more about cricket.
Having a good innings
“The children had fun practising their batting and bowling skills, and also developed a greater sense of self-confidence,” says Anita. She adds that team sports contribute towards the development of trust, enthusiasm, ambition and motivation.
This initiative is inspiring children from across South Africa to be more active, she says, with over 110 000 children having already taking part in the programme. The initiative was started in 1983 to introduce boys and girls to the game of cricket and ignite a passion for one of South Africa’s most-loved sports.
More than 500 youngsters participated in the KFC Mini Cricket Day hosted by the NWU.