AFTER a two-year hiatus, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and its parent body the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), in conjunction with Scotiabank, Ministry of Education and its Allied Arts Department and the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), yesterday resuscitated the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Programme at a simple but appreciative ceremony held in the GCB’s boardroom.
Present were Secretary of the GCB Anand Sanasie, Director of Sport Neil Kumar, GTU President Colin Bynoe and Secretary Lance Baptiste, Regional Administrative Officer from the Department of Education Shenaine Christian-Henry, Marketing Manager of Scotiabank Jennifer Cipriani along with students from primary schools across Georgetown.
Delivering his remarks after Christian-Henry and Cipriani on behalf of their organisations; Kumar applauded the GCB for fostering together the synergies with the other partners to make this year’s Scotiabank Kiddies Programme a success.
“I am happy to be here to share this forum where we are having the launching of the 2014 Scotiabank Kiddies Cricket Programme,” said Kumar.
“This is extremely good because I feel very proud when I see children are going to be introduced to games at an early age, so there cannot be any unfair comment of when they start, because when they start so early then you develop a positive attitude to the game.”
He added, “And as you grow older, you get more acquainted with the game and show a genuine interest and become a good cricketer and for this reason I wish to applaud the sponsor who I feel is certainly doing an excellent job with this programme.
And the very fact that we have the Ministry of Education, GTU and the GCB sharing their synergies on this programme, I am quiet certain that it will be successful and will be a foundation for further development of cricket in this country and the reservoir for the future players our national team will have. ”
He showered congratulations on the sponsors and organisers of the tournament, while he heaped numerous kudos on the GCB, whom he urged to continue doing the excellent job they are currently doing.
In her remarks, Christian-Henry, who represented the Principal Education Officer Baydewan Ghir Rambarran, told her audience she had no knowledge of the game of cricket, but was enthralled when she heard Dave Martin’s ‘We are the Champions’ on the radio,
“As a little girl growing up I never understood the game cricket. I would often hear 15 runs for 2 wickets but couldn’t understand what was being said, but was enthralled when I heard the song/anthem being played on the radio, as it signalled a win for the West Indies.
“As I grew older, I have appreciated the game much more because I now understand what they would have meant, because of the acquired knowledge from my husband who is a fan of the game, as I would sit with him and watch the game on television, asking questions…” said Christian-Henry.
She encouraged the students to grasp as much as they can and as they grasp educationally as well, have fun with the game so that they can be well rounded individuals in the game for the future. She expressed special thanks to the GCB, the WICB and Scotiabank for the revival of Scotiabank Kiddies Programme.
A smiling Cipriani, after acknowledging the head table and special invitees, told her audience boldly, ‘Kiddy Cricket is back’.
“We are happy to re-launch Kiddy Cricket in Guyana and I know the children participating in the programme are even more excited than we are,” said Cipriani.
“Scotiabank’s involvement with West Indies cricket began in 1998 as the official bank and one year later the exclusive sponsor of Kiddy Cricket, a programme which started with 87 schools and over the years kept growing with the hope of involving 200 schools this year.
This year, over 2 400 students are expected to participate in the Scotiabank Kiddies Cricket Festival and County Festivals, while more than 4 000 students will be involved in the Coaching Education Programme (CEP)” Cipriani stated.
She added, “While Scotiabank is a global entity, we believe in building relationships locally and supporting the communities where we live and work. This is why we continue to be such strong supporters of West Indies cricket and as you can see, our sponsorship and commitment go beyond just distributing cricket equipment and organising competition.
“It also involves education and positively shaping young minds while at the same time laying a foundation for the future of cricket in Guyana and the West Indies and on behalf of Scotiabank, I wish to thank the WICB, GCB, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, teachers, coaches and media for your commitment to Kiddy Cricket and more importantly giving our children a chance to live their dream.”
Territorial Development Officer (TDO) within the GCB and former West Indies fast bowler Colin Stuart who in his own right is a product of the GTU’s Inter-school Cricket tournaments of yesteryear, chaired the proceedings.
He said this year’s Scotiabank Kiddies Programme will see 20 temporary coaches across the country aiding in the effective execution of the programme on behalf of the GCB.
“These coaches will be tasked with passing on relevant information to the students and to identify those who are capable and willing to progress towards a higher level of training, as the GCB intends to identify children for Scotiabank Kiddies Camp, Training Clinics and Primary School leather ball competition.”
In his remarks which will be expanded on later, Bynoe said the Scotiabank Kiddies Programme can be likened unto the GTU Inter-school tournament, from which players of the calibre of Alvin Kallicharran, Carl Hooper and Ronald Austin emerged and will aid in the development of the nation’s future in the sport.