This past weekend I joined in on the action as Western Province Cricket Association hosted the KFC Mini-Cricket festival at Sahara Park Newlands. There were over 1000 children (boys and girls) between the ages of 3 and 13 getting active on the same cricket field their heroes often play on.
The kids who participated in the festival came in school teams with eight players per team. The teams then each played two games, and even had a chance to try out the inflatable Action Zones where they got the opportunity to improve their skills in a fun way,
I was blown away by how much fun the youngsters were having, and how teachers from the various schools get involved with coaching.
Community radio station Voice Of The Cape was very active in promoting this event with two of their radio presenters, Fagmie Fredericks and Moegamat Gallant, who present a weekly sports show called Sports Live, responsible for organising two teams from within the community to take part.
But there was more to the day than just cricket. There was also an audition area set up for an ambassador search. What better way to get a message across to kids than through other kids? This audition area not only gave the kids a chance to interview their cricket heroes, but also served to build confidence. There were definitely some future presenters in the making.
KFC partnered with Cricket South Africa (CSA) in 2010 with the aim of reaching as many children as possible and to promote an active and balanced lifestyle. The 2011/12 season saw the programme grow by 20%, double the target set, so there are now over 100000 kids actively involved.
The focus this season rests primarily on the Mini-Cricket kids ambassador search and for kids already in the programme to play more frequently. It’s amazing to see how this programme has grown over the years, and how the quality of cricket played by the children is improving. I was also happy to hear that there will be more of a growth with Mini-Cricket being introduced into rural communities The most important message of the day though was to encourage an active and balanced lifestyles for children and on the evidence of things, that messages is coming across loud and clear.