By Rawle Welch
Even in the midst of the current global economic crisis, Scotiabank recently declared one of the Top Ten performing financial institutions in the world, yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to Kiddy’s Cricket.
During a launching which was held in the Boardroom of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Manager of Products & Marketing Jennifer Cipriani-Nelson told the gathering of officials that included re-elected President Chetram Singh that the Bank’s continued involvement in the sponsorship of Kiddy’s Cricket is a further testimony to its strength and loyalty to Guyana and West Indies cricket.
Recognised as being the official Bank of West Indies Cricket, the partnership with the GCB has been in existence for the past ten years and according to Cipriani-Nelson, this achievement makes this year’s programme a special one.
“Scotiabank’s involvement with West Indies cricket first began in 1998 and then in 1999, it became the exclusive sponsor of Kiddy’s cricket.”
The programme which started with just 87 schools has now become a household name and an event that children look forward to every year.
The initiative has swollen every year since with more than 2500 schools throughout the Caribbean benefiting from Kiddy Cricket equipment that has brought joy to thousands of children.
Cipriani-Nelson added that the Bank is excited about the level of participation in the programme and the belief is that it encourages children to not only acquire an interest and passion for the game, but it also strengthens their interpersonal skills, self-confidence and self-discipline.
“Our sponsorship and commitment to West Indies Cricket goes beyond just distributing equipment, it also involves education and positively shaping young minds.”
She reminded that the Bank takes its social responsibility seriously and under the ‘Scotiabank Bright Future Programme’, management and employees have been channelling time and money into child and youth development in areas such as education, health and eradication of poverty.
Meanwhile, Singh in his remarks said that the GCB and the West Indies Cricket Board are pleased to be associated with the sponsor and the two entities view the initiative as an integral component of the Region’s cricket development.
“We at the Board level feel a sense of satisfaction and happiness with the contribution Scotiabank has been making to Kiddy’s Cricket. It is evident that such input by the Bank will contribute significantly to ensuring that the West Indies recapture their pride and dignity by returning to world supremacy in cricket.”
He mentioned that some of the benefits of exposing children to the game at such an early stage include: (1) it helps stimulate an interest and passion for the game,
(2) it encourages a wide participation of pupils,
(3) it provides opportunities to experience the joys of the game, while acquiring the basic skills,
(4) it also provides a variety of fun and enjoyable activities which are expected to produce immense pleasure and satisfaction, while being taught the basic skills,
(5) it improves motor skills- hand-eye co-ordination, sharpen reflexes, agility and flexibility, balance and speed and teaches team work and co-operation.
The President added that this year over 100 schools across the country will participate in the activity.
Each team will be made up of 6 boys and 4 girls and will be a 10-over affair with each bowler allowed to bowl 2 overs. Players have to be between the ages of 9-11 years. He closed by urging parents to come out and support the venture.
Coaches attached to the GCB will conduct sessions in schools; a competition will be held for Primary Schools in zones across the country; eight (8) zone winners will qualify to attend the One-Day International between West Indies and England on March 22, at the Guyana National Stadium. The competition starts on February 25 and runs until March 18.
The eight zones identified are Berbice, West Berbice, Mahaica / East Coast, East Bank, Upper Demerara, East Bank Essequibo / West Demerara, Essequibo Coast and Georgetown.
The two parties are now locked in consultations to determine the possibility of conducting additional development programmes and these may include: A ‘Summer Camp’ for a selected group of players who will be identified by the Coaches based on their assessment and evaluation of players’ abilities displayed during the sessions and /or competitions.
If the initiative finds favour with the Bank, ongoing developmental training will be held on weekends, during the period of September to December.
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