84 new schools for Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket
Very much a part of the international display by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) when the regional team plays host in the Caribbean, Scotiabank's grass-roots thrust, Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket, which has turned out an estimated 20 national/West Indies cricketers, will experience even more growth this year in Jamaica.
At yesterday's launch at the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) conference room, it was announced that the kiddies development programme will feature 84 new schools, increasing its overall total to 224.
Scotia's Kiddy Cricket first bowled off in the year 2000, a joint effort between the financial institution and the WICB to help foster skills and passion for the game among West Indian children.
The showpiece has grown among 14 Caribbean countries, with more than 750,000 now participating.
Shelley Sykes-Coley, Scotiabank's manager, sponsorships, said her organisation remains committed to the growth and development of cricket regionally.
"We will continue to build on the foundation skills of our young cricketers with our Kiddy Cricket skills display, cricket camp, and Kiddy Cricket festival," she said.
"That boys and girls aged 7-12 not only learn to play the game, but acquire love for learning, while building leadership skills in the classroom and on the field."
Courtney Francis, chief executive officer, JCA, was also in attendance, while Phillip Service, WICB Kiddy Cricket Coordinator, distributed newly certified child-protection course certificates to coaches.
Since last year, there has been a series of child-protection courses - mandatory for all youth cricket coaches - which hosted over 119 attendees. This course is being facilitated by the JCA and the Child Development Agency.
Scotiabank and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) are in partnership with UNICEF on this project, and they will endeavour to complete another 12 to 14 workshops across 14 parishes in Jamaica, with the primary focus being 150 primary schools in the Kiddy Cricket programme.
Preliminary matches among primary schools started just ahead of the press launch, with an exciting festival featuring Excelsior vs Rollington Town, and Mountain View vs Clan Carthy, at Sabina Park.