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Scotia celebrates former ‘Kiddie’ cricketer Blackwood

Published:Saturday | June 6, 2015 | 6:00 AM
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Scotiabank celebrated for two reasons when Jamaican Jermaine Blackwood made his first Test century for the West Indies on April 15, 2015 against England.

Firstly, it was fantastic to see such talent on display; and secondly, he is one of the successes of the bank's regional Kiddy Cricket programme. The Jamaican's success was timely, and a tribute to Scotiabank, that celebrates 15 years of sponsorship of this developmental cricket programme offered to primary-level students.

Blackwood is not the only success story from the programme. Five former Kiddy Cricketers took the field at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground for the first Test between the West Indies and England in April.

Besides Blackwood, the quintet that got their start in Kiddy Cricket included Barbadians Kemar Roach and Kraigg Brathwaite and Trinidadian Darren Bravo, who were on the West Indies team, along with Barbados-born bowler, Chris Jordan, representing England.

"Scotiabank has been committed to this developmental cricket programme since 2000," said Heather Goldson, regional marketing director, Scotiabank.

"It is very satisfying to see these talented young men, who started out as Kiddy Cricketers, progress to representing their countries and the West Indies. We are honoured to have had an opportunity to influence their lives and their love of the sport," she continued.

Over the years, Jamaica has produced some outstanding cricketers, including Courtney Walsh, Jimmy Adams, George Headley, Michael Holding, Jeffrey Dujon, Lawrence Rowe, Collie Smith, Maurice Foster, and Chris Gayle.

Blackwood, a Kiddy Cricketer from New Hope Primary in White House, Westmoreland, is now one of the most talented young stars on the West Indies team.

Even West Indies Legend, Sir Vivian Richards, has likened the opener to "a bit of Collis King", and believes the young Jamaican has the making of a "good batsman in the middle for the West Indies in the long-term future," according to the Antigua Observer.

All-rounder Blackwood was born on November 20, 1991. His initial training in cricket came through the Kiddy Cricket Programme and was further developed at Holmwood Technical, where he was captain of the Headley Cup cricket team.

The Kiddy Cricket Programme caters to boys and girls, ages 7-12 years. In addition to teaching them how to play the game, Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket helps to foster a love of learning and builds leadership skills. By developing motor skills, arts and craft abilities, and math speediness, Kiddy Cricketers are trained to be more disciplined and confident.