By Kingsley Emmanuel
SCOTIABANK has again reiterated its commitment to the development of Kiddy cricket and the game at the regional level.
The assurance was given last Thursday by the Bank’s Kiddy Cricket champion Carol Henry while addressing the District 6 Kiddy Cricket Festival.
Vigier Primary School emerged as the new champions of the District in a classic “David and Goliath” duel.
Vigier Primary School, the smallest school in District 6 emerged the winner defeating the largest school in the district, Vieux Fort Primary School, by two runs in an intriguing encounter.
The victorious school, with a population of less than 100 students, scored 126 runs while Vieux Fort Primary managed 124. As a result of their victory, Vigier will represent the district in the national competition today at the Mindoo Phillip Park.
Defending champions, Augier Combined School placed third after they were defeated in a semi-finals by Vigier.
The other schools which took part in the competition were: Blanchard Combined, Pierrot Combined, Belle Vue Combined and Desruisseaux Combined Schools.
The event which was held at the Phillip Marcellin Grounds in Vieux Fort last week, generated much interest among the teams that participated and spectators.
In remarks, Carol James Henry, Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Champion, said Scotiabank was committed to the development of Kiddy cricket and the building of West Indies cricket now and in the future.
“Since 2000, Scotiabank has proudly and exclusively sponsored Kiddy cricket and remains the official bank of West Indies cricket. This year marks the 16th anniversary of our Kiddy cricket sponsorship and as we all know, 2016 was the year that West Indies cricket team achieved the unthinkable and unimaginable feat of winning all three world titles of the T 20 format,” Henry said.
He said Kiddy cricket includes more than 726 primary schools around the Caribbean with over 108,000 primary school students receiving regular after-school coaching from trained coaches. He added that in the last 16 years, over 750,000 children have passed through the programme.
Henry said: “Some of those children have gone on to play for their countries and the West Indies team. At Scotiabank, we are especially proud to see former Kiddy cricketers like Andre Fletcher, Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine, Shai Hope and Shane Dowrich still playing for the West Indies. They all started out in kiddy cricket just like you and now they are playing for the West Indies in the IPL and will be playing in the upcoming CPL.”
He called on the young cricketers to keep training and practise what their coaches have taught them because it is the first step towards the path to bigger things.
“You have shining stars leading you on in persons like Darren Sammy and Johnson Charles, both St. Lucian and West Indian cricketers who have won two World Cups. Even more, our stadium has been renamed the Darren Sammy Cricket Grounds, and Johnson Charles has been rewarded with property…”
He told the students that sports and education go very well together and that there are tremendous benefits to be reaped in sports with many success stories to support this point of view.
Steven Auguste, principal of the Beanefield Comprehensive Secondary School, who represented the Education Officer for District 6, Peter Joseph, in his remarks said: “The excitement and enthusiasm displayed by the young talented cricketers, coaches and teachers as well as principals, is an indication of your readiness to participate and compete.”
He showered praises on the sponsors which included the main sponsor, Scotiabank and others such as the Laborie Cooperative Credit Union, National Farmers and General Workers Cooperative Credit Union, St. Lucia Teachers Credit Cooperative and First Caribbean International Bank, for partnering with the schools to host the event.
“We are pleased with the investment our sponsors have made in the development of our youth. The district is noted for its outstanding performances in school sports and your investment will help to further develop our sporting talents. In this particular instance it is cricket,” Auguste said.
He said the investment may contribute to the development of another national and probably West Indies cricketer, adding that the festival provides students with the opportunity to learn the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes of the game.