Chris Gayle Academy graduation, fundraising dinner
The Chris Gayle Academy has had a successful first year, with 20 young men receiving the necessary skills and training to enter the cricketing world and make a positive impact in their respective communities.
In celebration of this achievement, the international West Indian cricketer, through his charity arm, the Chris Gayle Foundation, will host the official graduation exercise and fundraising dinner at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Wednesday, July 8 at 6 p.m.
The evening's proceedings will also include a special auction of iconic memorabilia from past and present West Indian cricketers such as Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, Michael Holding, Dwayne Bravo and, of course, Gayle.
The opening batsman lauded the efforts of the participants in the programme, as well as the management and technical teams, for the pivotal role they played in bringing to reality this vision of developing the sport of cricket in Jamaica at the youth level.
"It is an overwhelming feeling to see a passion and a vision that I hold very close to my heart come to life," he said. "I am extremely proud of the dedication of the young men who participated and the tenacity and hard work of the coaching and technical teams who supported them in making our first year a resounding success.
"This represents a new era for the development of cricket in Jamaica and I anticipate that as we enter our second year, we will be able to accept more persons into the programme and make an even stronger impact," added Gayle.
Through the assistance of The Change Foundation, a UK-based organisation, the academy has been able to take a great leap in providing technical training for the youngsters, in addition to personal development and interpersonal skills development. However, Gayle admits that more can be done with additional support.
"I believe that with more support the talent of youngsters who may be challenged because of socio-economic factors but have a passion for playing cricket, can be unearthed as they benefit from training programmes such as the one offered by the academy. It is for that reason we have decided to host a graduation paired with a fundraising dinner and auction, where we hope to raise additional funds to pump into the programme."
Gayle is encouraging Jamaicans from all spheres to bat for this worthwhile cause and help him to transform the sport and assist many youngsters to learn the game of cricket as well as life skills.
Tickets for the fundraising dinner and auction can be purchased at Triple Century Sports Bar or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.