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Grassroots cricket programme scoops international accolade against the impact of the COVID-19

Grassroots cricket programme scoops international accolade against the impact of the COVID-19

Cricket development initiative, the Ashburton Kwata Mini-Cricket Programme bagged the global award for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Development Initiative of the Year, Cricket Namibia announced this week.

The initiative was recognised for increasing participation by a remarkable 71% despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in associated lockdown restrictions for individuals across Namibia, including the closure of schools, which demanded a creative solution to keep the cricket programme running. We took cricket into parking lots, onto quiet streets, beaches, netball courts and unoccupied, open pieces of land,” Cricket Namibia President, Rudie van Vuuren explained in a statement.

According to Van Vuuren, the initiative managed to access a total of more than 67,000 children in one-off engagements while more than 17,000 children played regular matches.

“This initiative has a core focus of connecting communities and improving lives by inspiring the Namibian primary school child,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley, who was a part of the judging panel commended Namibia on winning the award.

“Cricket Namibia demonstrated such ingenuity to maintain the programme during COVID19, and resulted in incredible growth and a large number of participants who were able to take part and experience the game,” he concluded.

About The Author

Sport Contributor

The Economist does not have a dedicated sport reporter. This designation is used for several contributors who want their sport stories in the Economist. Experience has taught us that companies usually want their sport sponsorships published prominently, being the reason for a sports category. It now also carries general sport items but only those with direct Namibian relevance. - Ed.