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Tobago cricket officials get high praise

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THE current administration of Tobago cricket has come in for high praise for their outstanding effort to promote and sustain the sport in the sister isle. The officers were acknowledged in glowing terms by President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, Azim Bassarath, when he recently launched the Tobago leg of the Scotiabank sponsored […]

THE current administration of Tobago cricket has come in for high praise for their outstanding effort to promote and sustain the sport in the sister isle.

The officers were acknowledged in glowing terms by President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, Azim Bassarath, when he recently launched the Tobago leg of the Scotiabank sponsored Kiddy Cricket Programme.

The revolutionary and ground-breaking sport and scholastic initiative is specifically designed for primary school pupils and conceptualised by the TTCB. It has now been introduced in several territorities and is a major plank of the Cricket West Indies development programme.

Bassarath said the Cricket Board is indebted to the efforts of the Tobago administrators who continue to lend support for initiatives like the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programmes in recognition of its value and the role it plays in youth, and island development.

The president of the Tobago Cricket Association Kerwin John is a former top cricketer who has a background playing the game at a high level and brings this experience to charting the future course for the sport on his island.

“It was also a great moment for Kerwin when he recently presented the main prize to the Pakistan captain on winning the T20 series against the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.

“This ‘live’ image was beamed all over the world on television and millions of cricket fans can now attest to the fact of the importance that the Cricket Board places on every member, and moreso Tobago.

“Let me also pay tribute to other members of the Tobago executive who work oftentimes goes unrewarded and unheralded, but is acknowledged by those in the know at the cricket board. Among those I refer to are Robert Hislop, Neil Beckles, Glenroy Brassey, Lincoln Nelson, and Anthony Moore who constitute the leadership here on the island.

“We at the TTCB are proud of the partnership with Tobago and Scotiabank, and we are confident that our young people will continue to reap the positive rewards of this laudable effort of sustained youth intervention,” said Bassarath.

Kiddy Cricket is sponsored by Scotiabank and is in its 17th unbroken year, and during this period has produced scores of top cricketers who have gone on to represent their respective zones in age group competition, and national and regional teams.

Many have also emerged as international stars, plying their trade in the lucrative international T20 leagues which gives an indication of the true value of the holistic and innovative programme which has now spread to many islands throughout the Caribbean because of its unimaginable success in Trinidad and Tobago.

“As president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, it is my sincere desire to see Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket take firm root here on this lovely island where there abounds a treasure trove of raw talent waiting to burst on the international scene,” the TTCB president said.

“Over the years, Tobago has produced cricketers of immense talent and we are certain that   Kiddy Cricket will build on this proud and illustrious tradition. But it goes much further than teaching youngsters the rudiments of the game.

“So quite apart from valuable instructions in batting, bowling and fielding, Kiddy Cricket taps into other equally important facets of the children’s educational development, and it has emerged as a significant tool which helps community and national development through cricket,” he said.

Additionally, the programme has trained teachers, provided equipment, catered for teaching aids and fostered innumerable opportunities on and off the field for participants, young and old over the years.

“Further, Kiddy Cricket recognises the dying need in our nation for positive guidance, which the instilling of value systems and the encouragement and support of an alternative lifestyle   promotes. It also reaps the rewards of a healthier society which relieves the burden currently placed on the overwhelmed health services.

“Participants are schooled in basic cricket skills, sportsmanship, leadership, disclipine, honesty, self-esteem and the benefits if teamwork, meaningful communication, building of interpersonal qualities, and moral and spiritual qualities.

“It cannot be overstated that the eventual holistic success of any individual rests squarely on the interplay between important work in the classroom and other focussed activities outside of the scholastic curriculum, which is a yawning gap that Kiddy Cricket adequately bridges.

“Many studies by experts all over the world have conclusively shown that the early development   of our children is boosted in no small way by their participation in some kind of sports activity, enhancing their performance in the classroom, creating an enthusiasm for attending school and spawning a burning desire to excel academically.

“Tobago is indeed fortunate that Kiddy Cricket presents itself on its doorstep when all that is needed is the involvement of parents and guardians to take a keen interest in the future of their charges in whose small, hands rest the future of the nation.

“We value the contribution of the parents, school principals, teachers, coaches and the worthy sponsors, Scotiabank for their unstinting and unwavering support, and their continued show of confidence in the administration of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board.

‘The Cricket Board, of which I have the distinct privilege and honour to lead, is uniquely qualified to lead the charge through Kiddy Cricket to help put Tobago on the map through the elevation of their cricketers to another level.

“The board has been acclaimed by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs as the leading National Sports Organisation based on their unparalleled track record of accountability and transparency utilising a cadre of qualified volunteers who go beyond the call of duty to keep the sport in its place of prominence in the national consciousness.

“Kiddy Cricket is just one of a list of high quality programmes rolled out by the board which also targets primary and secondary schools, clubs and communities, and which has a keen interest in building a base of many thousands who play the game, and also cheer on from the stands.

Trinidad and Tobago has the distinction of organising the best domestic competition in the region and was the first to enroll cricketers from throughout the Caribbean to play here, while our national teams across the board have been playing with unmitigated success, breaking records along the way.

“Last season, Trinidad and Tobago cricketers swept an unprecedented eight regional titles with the senior Red Force men and women, and age group teams sweeping all before them to set a standard that will not be easily breached for many, many years to come.

“It is our objective to continue to rely heavily on the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme to identify cricket talent from very early on, and nourish and cultivate this latent talent in conjunction with the other natural gifts that our children possess in poetry, arts and craft and other scholastic activities that is geared to produce athletes who use both their physical and mental acumen in equal measure.

“I have no hesitation in once again expressing my heartfelt thanks to Scotiabank, and its present managing director Anya Schnoor, a Jamaican by birth but Caribbean Woman at heart, and most of all a passionate cricket lover.

At the launch two weeks ago in Trinidad, Ms Schnoor revealed that this year, participation in the Kiddy Cricket had doubled with 120 schools involved, with more than half for the first time impacting on close to 3,000 pupils.

“We pay tribute to their clear vision, increased input and faithful commitment to the virtues of positive contribution to nation-building and place a dent on the scourge of violence that is wracking our school system and communities at large.

“The children are certain to have great fun and unbridled joy in the activities planned and I wish to urge you to continue demonstrating good manners and show exemplary courtesy to your peers while giving utmost respect to those placed to supervise your participation in the Kiddy Cricket.

“Parents and guardians also have a key role in setting a good example to follow and their presence here is a first step in placing you on the straight path to success on the field and in the classroom,” Bassarath said.

 

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