Cricket superstars, Shane Burger and Kurtlyn Mannikam come to Newcastle

Cricket is more than sport. It is a way of life that offers players a world of opportunity and life-long friendships.

However, when it comes to creating a passion for the game, it is up to initiatives to lure future players in. Which is where KFC Mini Cricket comes in. Building up the foundation phase of cricket, by teaching children the ins and outs of the game.

In May 2018, children were exposed to KFC Mini Cricket at Suryaville Primary School. Training taking place every Saturday under the guidance of Rishi Nanan and his fellow KFC Mini Cricket committee colleagues.

Catering for boys from the ages of 5 to 10 years and girls from the ages of 5 to 13 years, the initiative has grown tremendously from 20 children to 60 children. Each child thriving in the programme and developing a love for sports.

A group of the participating children, ready to receive their certificates.

Marking the development of the youngsters and the teachers who underwent a course to become a registered KFC Mini Cricket Coach, a recognition ceremony and information session was held at Suryaville Primary School on Friday, January 25.

The KFC Mini Cricket coaches.

Children received a certificate for participating in the programme, while the coaches received their coaching certificates.

Making the day even more special was the attendance of Shane Burger and Kurtlyn Mannikam of KZN Inland Cricket.

Shane Burger and Kurtlyn Mannikam.

Kurtlyn is a first-class South African cricketer and was included in the KZN Inland squad for the 2016 Africa T20 team.

Being a part of KZN Inland Cricket for the past four years, Kurtlyn spoke to the coaches and children about his career. Sharing his life story with them and explaining the massive opportunities that lay in cricket. “It has been a lot of hard work, but cricket is all about bettering yourself. It is about performing and taking advantage of the opportunities and being spotted by the right people.”

Encouraging the children to pursue cricket to the fullest, Kurtlyn emphasised that cricket can be more than a mere sport played on weekends. It can be a career that can change people’s lives.

Shane Burger is no stranger to the cricket world. He is a former cricketer who played first-class cricket for KZN Inland.

Initially from Johannesburg, Burger played as an all-rounder for KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Lions and was assistant coach for South Africa A. This month, he was appointed as the head coach for the Scotland national cricket team.

With a vast amount of experience and knowledge in cricket, Burger shared his life story with the coaches and children. Also focusing on how cricket rules have changed over the past 10 years.

“It has been a lot of hard work, sacrifices and belief,” he says.

Why is cricket important to Burger?

“It is about keeping active, allowing players to dream and potential careers.”

Furthermore, he says cricket teaches children to be team players and brings about leadership skills within them.

“But it is not just about playing. There are career opportunities in the cricket world. There is administration, coaching and several other opportunities,” he says.

Both Burger and Mannikam left the coaches and children feeling inspired, showing them that cricket is truly a gentleman’s game.

For more information on how to join the KFC Mini Cricket programme, contact Rishi Nanan on 072 216 0772.

Shane Burger and Kurtlyn Mannikam with the KFC Mini Cricket committee.
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