When it comes to South African sport, cricket is more than a mere hobby. It is a passion and a way of life.
With South Africans of all ages finding immense pleasure in cricket, Ladysmith is set to play host to the regional KFC Mini Cricket Festival on Saturday, August 17.
Set to take place at the Settlers Park in Ladysmith, the event will see approximately 500 players participating. With schools from as far as Vryheid and the deep, rural parts of Ladysmith invited, this initiative is one which is not to be missed.
Adding to the day’s festivities, Kerwin Mungroo from the Dolphins Cricket team will be in attendance. As he grew up in Ladysmith, the sportsman’s presence will act as motivation for children.
Sponsored by Colefax from Durban, Rosanne Roopal of the business group will be working on the scene to ensure the event is one which will see children embrace cricket to the fullest.
What makes this event so important?
“The reason for these festivals, is to get children active and ultimately to see them develop a lifelong interest in the game,” says Mercia Baatjies, the Provincial Mini-Cricket Coordinator for KZN Inland.
Furthermore, Baatjies explains that while there are other smaller festivals, the upcoming Regional Mini Cricket Festival is a highlight on the sporting calendar, as the Cricket Union partners up with Local Store Marketers (LSM), so they can accommodate for a larger number of children.
“We also do talent identification for these regional festivals and would like to absorb the talented players into our hub systems, fast-tracking their progress,” she explains.
In fact, it is Baaitjies job to see once fixtures are played within certain areas, that these fixtures culminate into a festival, where children are able to display their skills against other skilled players.
“Logistically in KZN Inland, it is a challenge because the areas are so vast. So, we encourage inter-class matches or to play against schools within close proximity. Those players who excel, then get to play in the bigger festivals. The ultimate goal is to get as many children to play the game, regardless of where they come from.”
The festival will start at 8.30am and end at 12.30pm. Thereby allowing children to have the opportunity to play with children from other areas, forging new friendships in the name of cricket.
For more information, contact Mercia Baaitjies at the KZN Inland Cricket Union offices on 033 345 0202.