The former Windward Islands captain and West Indies leg-spinner recently spoke to over 80 Kiddy Cricketers in the two-island state about life and the intricate balancing act they will have to maintain to be successful both on and off the field.
The motivational talk was part of the Kiddy Cricketers’ preparations for their interval display to be staged on Friday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground here.
“It’s important to start balancing all aspects of life at an early age – academics, sports and also your personal life,” said Lewis, project officer for Youth Cricket at the West Indies Cricket Board.
“All of these facets of life are not independent and depend on each other a great deal for you to be successful.”
Lewis said: “As a cricketer, I gave a 100 per cent effort toward all these areas of life, balancing academics especially, since I knew the life span of my professional cricketing career on the field was short.
“Today, I am still heavily involved in the game of cricket which I love, but on the administrative and coordination side.”
Lewis encouraged the Kiddy Cricketers to enjoy the game, while developing the personal character that would serve them well in life.
“The best advice I would like to give you is have fun at everything you do especially cricket,” he said.
“Be disciplined. Be respectful to each other and your elders. And most of all play cricket to the best of your ability always.
“It is important to set a firm foundation for yourselves at an early age which will transfer into your adult and professional future.”
The Kiddy Cricketers rehearsed their actual playing formation as would be done on Friday during the lunch interval on the third day of the first Digicel Test between West Indies and New Zealand at the VRCG.
They sharpened up on their batting, bowling, wicket-keeping and fielding skills in both diamond cricket and continuous cricket formats.
The boys and girls were also presented with their new brilliant white interval display uniform, adorned with the colourful and vibrant Scotibank Kiddy Cricket Crest.
WICB Manager for Cricket Operations Roland Holder, a former Barbados captain and West Indies batsman, said the regional governing body held the Kiddy Cricket programme in high regard.
“It is one of the most important pillars in our cricket development pathway, setting sound foundations for children between age six and 12, which is critical for the future success of our cricket in the region,” he said.
“Initiatives such as motivational speeches from regional cricket personalities are among the ways in which the programme helps young cricketers to draw inspiration, advice and get first-hand interaction with regional cricket greats.”
He added: “Because the World of cricket is evolving at such a fast pace, at the Kiddy Cricket level we endeavour to supply sufficient resources in all areas of the game and academics essential to encourage strong youth development at the primary school stage.
“It is our main goal to give our Caribbean children the best opportunity to succeed not only in the game of cricket, but in life.”
Lorraine Perry, Eastern Caribbean regional sales manager for merchant services, said Scotiabank had kept its objectives consistent towards the development of our primary school youth.
“Especially in Antigua, we have seen the improvement and retention of children in cricket as participation continues to grow at the annual Kiddy Cricket festivals and programme events,” she said.
“Scotiabank will continue to build on the successes of the Kiddy Cricket programme not only in Antigua, but regionally as we commit ourselves to growing the sport and develop well-rounded primary school students through exposure to cricket.”