EBH Namibia rekindles coastal cricket
This year, the EBH XI Coastal combined team participated in the National Premier Cricket League for the first time in four years, reaching the semi-finals and putting coastal cricket back on the map. This was a direct result of EBH Namibia’s support of the Junior Coastal Cricket Academy (JCCA) in an intensive coaching and sponsorship programme that was initiated by EBH in 2012.
This is according to chairman of the JCCA, Ruben Groenewald, who has acknowledged EBH Namibia’s contribution in “rekindling” coastal cricket. “EBH Namibia has brought cricket coaching back into the suburbs by supporting our coaches, enabling them to reach young players who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to play, and boosting local club cricket,” said Groenewald.
In addition, the EBH T20, which takes place annually between May and July, has become a highlight on the local cricketing calendar, with between eight and ten participating teams.
“The EBH T20 initiative has played an invaluable role for the past six years in developing the game locally,” said Groenewald. “In 2009, there were only a handful of players at two clubs, which were struggling for existence. Today, there are four cricket clubs on the coast, and a total of six teams.”
EBH Namibia currently also supports weekly afternoon coaching sessions for underprivileged children on an ongoing basis. Players include boys and girls between the ages of ten and 16 from Kuisebmond, Narraville, Meersig and the older part of Walvis Bay. Under 11 and Under 13 teams participate in the annual coastal national schools cricket week during the August/September school holidays, and older age groups have been participating in the national Momentum Cricket Week in Windhoek.
“The EBH T20 project is playing an instrumental role in bringing coastal cricket back to life, by developing our young players to club level, and it has also succeeded in putting the coastal women’s cricket on the national cricket map,” said Groenewald.
The EBH project has allowed more coaches to be employed from September 2015, as well as the improvement of coaching facilities.
“2015 has seen some exciting results for our coastal cricket, not only our first XI team but younger teams. EBH Namibia is delighted with this, and with the opportunity to have been able to play a role in helping to create an opportunity for young cricket talent to come to the fore,” Uys concluded.