Decked in their red and white gear, more than 900 children took part in the Gauteng leg of the KFC Mini-Cricket Festival held at Redhill School cricket grounds in Sandton.
The mini-cricket programme gets children across the country involved in the game at an early age and is considered a breeding ground for young cricket talent with 80 per cent of the current Proteas players having gone through the system.
The programme has seen more than 114 000 children (boys and girls both abled and differently abled) from 5 584 schools around the country getting active over the past number of years. This has been under the guidance of 8 774 volunteer coaches, and should ensure a bright outlook for the future of cricket in South Africa.
Buhle Vaphi, of Gauteng Cricket, said for those children who showed cricketing potential, the programme offered them opportunities to uplift themselves. “Each provincial union identifies and aims to nurture young talent with the goal of ensuring that youngsters with potential are taken through the ranks in CSA’s [Cricket South Africa] structures,” she said.
Vaphi added that children not only have fun practising their batting and bowling skills but also develop self-confidence and get the physical exercise they need, all while having fun with their new-found friends on the pitch.
“The impact of mini-cricket isn’t just limited to its young participants. Coaches, parents, and administrators alike, not only form the backbone of the programme but are also reaping many life benefits themselves from their involvement. The majority of coaches involved in mini-cricket are volunteers or teachers from the surrounding communities,” said Vaphi.
KFC has been a sponsor of the mini-cricket programme since 2010 and will continue its sponsorship for the next 10 years.
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