Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Wray & Nephew, SDC partner for all-island T20 Cricket Tournament

Published:Wednesday | May 1, 2019 | 12:18 AM
Pavel Smith, brand manager, Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum.
Pavel Smith, brand manager, Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum.

The Social Development Commission (SDC) Wray & Nephew National Community T20 Cricket Competition, endorsed by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), bowls off on Saturday, May 4, promising to bring communities closer together while sharing the spirit of cricket.

For the 13th year, 229 teams from 327 communities across Jamaica will engage in a healthy and fun competition, a platform for hidden cricket talent to come to the fore.

“Community sports is used to capture the attention at the community level, bringing people together for collaborative community efforts, sharing their passion, pride, and spirit,” said Pavel Smith, brand manager, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum.

To that end, J Wray & Nephew Ltd, through its flagship brand Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, is pumping $40 million into the competition.

“The Social Development Commission uses T20 cricket as a unifying force, igniting the energies within these communities. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum has always been a part of Jamaican communities and building Jamaican pride through our sport,” Smith shared.

He reasoned that cricket touches consumers in their communities at the grass-roots level, and with T20 cricket, it is even more exciting.

For the investment, $6 million in cash will go to the SDC, and the rest will be utilised for visibility for the competition in advertising and awareness of the sport and increasing the fun element for the patrons at the matches.

At every match, cricket fans will enjoy specially priced Wray Rum mixes and freebie fanfare gear like thunder sticks, horns, and T-shirts, among other goodies and giveaways. At the national stage, the Wray & Nephew Music Machine, their disc jockeys and hostesses will provide the spirit for select venue parties that will have ‘community’ bars ready to partake in the fun, with featured matches having extra fanfare.

In a bid to ensure that only the highest quality of cricket is played, especially as the competition enters the national stage, coaches will be engaged in cricket clinics that will help them further hone their skills.

“We will be working with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to conduct coaching clinics for the final 13 teams just before the start of the national stage,” Smith said. “We will have 26 coaches from the 13 teams training in the three cricketing disciplines – batting, bowling, and fielding – as well as man-management and leadership training.”

He sees Wray & Nephew’s investment in the tournament as having positive long-term effects on Jamaica’s cricket by reinforcing and highlighting Jamaican sporting talent and creating much-needed exposure for community cricket and, by extension, community talent.

“We want to play our part in positively impacting the lives of communities in the hopes of showcasing their cricket stars and assisting in driving business for the small business owners in the communities during match weekends,” Smith said.

The SDC has welcomed its first co-branding partner since the competition started in 2006.

Dr Dwayne Vernon, executive director of the SDC, said: “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership as we work together through sports and other capacity-­development initiatives in the development of communities across Jamaica.”

The SDC Wray & Nephew National Community T20 Cricket Competition will have two phases to the competition – parish and national – ­starting on May 4.

The finals will be held on Sunday, August 25, at the Noranda Port Rhoades Sports Club in St Ann.