Following a demanding week at school, approximately 400 children flocked to Paradise Sports Grounds on Friday, September 7.
Their mission is a simple one. To play cricket, have a blast, whilst forging a love for the sport at the 21st annual KFC Mini Cricket Day Night Festival.
Rishi Nanan, one of the event’s coordinators, explained that children from primary schools in Newcastle were invited to participate. “The purpose of the event is to teach children the fundamentals and basics of cricket. Eventually, we would like to see a lot of these children go to the youth league and play hardball cricket.”
As a developmental programme, the KFC Mini Cricket programme sees boys from the ages of six years to nine years old learn about cricket. “We are also trying to get more girls involved. The age group for girls is from six years to 13 years of age,” says Rishi.
With the KFC Mini Cricket Day Night Festival growing from strength to strength over the years, Friday night proved to be a resounding success. Yet, there was more to the event than just showcasing the children’s skills and introducing them to cricket.
Nashreer Nanan, a coordinator for the event, says that cricket teaches valuable life lessons. “It develops children’s coordination, helps them improve their school work and teaches them self-discipline.”
Other lessons include the importance of team work and friendship. “It also helps keep children off the streets and away from drugs,” Nashreer explains.
As cricket offers youth a lot in return, Rishi explains the KFC Mini Cricket Festival team is looking at ways to expand the initiative. “We would like to get the townships involved, as well as other children who would like to play cricket.”
While coordinators are looking at ways to expand mini cricket, the youth truly found Friday’s event thrilling.
If anyone wants to get involved with the KFC Mini Cricket, they can contact Rishi Nanan on 072 216 0772.