Over 80 excited Scotiabank Kiddy Cricketers took to the field at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground during the interval of the first Digicel One-Day International to give spectators a glimpse of the future of the game on the idyllic isles of St Vincent & the Grenadines.
The young and aspiring boys and girls, smartly dressed in their “whites”, were students from eight local primary schools – Layou, Park Hill, Owia, Buccament, Fitz Hughes, Sion Hill, Lodge Village and Richland Park.
Former Windward Islands spin bowler Stan Hinds is now the chief Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Coach in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. He said a revamp of the Kiddy Cricket programme in SVG started almost 18 months ago with various initiatives and it is beginning to bear fruit.
“They range from foundation coaching workshops for physical education teachers and volunteers to Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket festivals, where children are able to play friendly matches against each other in the spirit of building teamwork and camaraderie,” he said.
“The eight schools participating in the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket interval display have emerged successfully, as we headed to the build-up of the tour, showing great discipline and development, on and off the playing field.
“We are dedicated to the programme and we have made great strides towards building the programme’s interest among 60 primary schools and also developing sound cricket foundations for the future of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Windward Islands and West Indies cricket.”
Lennox John, Chief Executive Officer of Windward Islands Cricket, said the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Programme was well-entrenched not only SVG, but across the four Windward Islands. “Scotiabank and the WICB are providing invaluable resources to engage our primary school youths in cricket across SVG, Dominica, St. Lucia and Grenada,” he said.
“In a period when the West Indies team is in a development transition toward success, it is critical to ensure that we channel our children toward building strong academic and on-field foundations through cricket, in order to ensure our future success.”
Carl Dickson, Scotiabank St Vincent & the Grenadines Assistant Manager of Small Business, said the banking institution was committed to growing the sport to build the foundation for future West Indies success.
“In SVG, we have shared in the programme’s success and its established yearly activities, especially the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket interval displays,” he said.
“The interval displays regionally endeavour not only to showcase the cricket skills of our Caribbean youth, but engage them in building experiences and confidence year after year of play in front of big crowds during our West Indies home series.”
Dickson added: “With the help of our partners the WICB and local support from the SVG Cricket Association, Ministry of Education & Sport, National Sports Council and the Windwards Cricket, we have realised steadily increasing participation in the programme, which further drives Scotiabank’s commitment to the development of the next generation of great West Indian cricketers, both male and female.”
The next Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket demonstration is scheduled for the fourth Digicel One-Day International on Friday, March 23 at Beausejour in St. Lucia.