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Young cricketers given opportunity to train alongside World Cup stars

© UNICEF/2011/Saikat Mojumder
Players from the Canadian team take a group photo with the Joypurhat Adolescent Girls’ Cricket Team at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium on 15th February, 2011.
Player interactions held as part of Think Wise initiative in Bangladesh

20 February 2011, Dhaka, Bangladesh: Young people from across Bangladesh have had the opportunity of a lifetime this week to experience what it is like to be a player at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Adolescents from Jaipurhat District, in the north of Bangladesh, and young people from three other districts from across the country had the chance to train alongside the Canada and Pakistan teams, as both sides make their final preparations for world’s cricket showpiece event which begins in Dhaka on 19 February.

As well as participating in fielding drills, they had the opportunity to bowl to some of the competing players, including Pakistan’s Younus Khan, as well as learn about life of a professional cricketer, including what they pack in their cricket bags and meet a leading sports psychologist.

The youth groups were awarded this opportunity after winning a national adolescent cricket tournament, organised by UNICEF, as part of the Think Wise campaign, a global initiative supported by the ICC, UNAIDS and UNICEF.

The campaign will encourage young people to be informed, take appropriate action to prevent HIV infection and stand together against the stigma and discrimination often facing people living with HIV. Although UNAIDS announced that new HIV infections had fallen by 20 per cent between 2001 and 2009, more than 7,000 people were infected each day in 2009 and one out of every three of these was a young person aged between 15 and 24 years.

The children at the interactions with the World Cup teams were presented with a red ribbon to wear on their shirts as a show of support for people living with HIV, and discussed the importance of not discriminating against this group of people. Players at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 will also wear red ribbons on their shirts in all quarter-final, semi-final and final matches.

© UNICEF/2011/Saikat Mojumder
Jimmy Hansra, Canadian top order spin bowler, gives bowling tips to players from the Joypurhat Adolescent Girls’ Cricket Team at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium on 15th February, 2011.
Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury, from UNICEF Bangladesh added: “By providing an opportunity for adolescent boys and girls from disadvantaged communities in Bangladesh to have the chance to meet and train alongside some of their cricketing heroes is an experience that they will never forget. By engaging young people through cricket, it creates an opportunity for us to deliver important social messages on HIV prevention and eliminate discrimination against people living with HIV.”

Further player activities, as part of the Think Wise initiative, will be held during the course of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Notes to editors:

About the partnership
The ICC and UNAIDS came together in 2003 under the slogan ‘Run out AIDS’ to address the impact AIDS was having on young people in cricket playing countries. Numerous awareness raising initiatives were implemented through this alliance with the aim to increase the level of understanding and education about HIV and AIDS, and materials such as the Cricket HIV and AIDS Curriculum are used to reach young cricketers in and out of school. In the run up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean, UNICEF joined the historic partnership and it was agreed to work together under the banner of the ‘Unite for Children, Unite for AIDS’ global campaign around the 2007 event. At this tournament, the partnership also worked with the Global Media AIDS Initiative. Building on the history and experience, the partners agreed in 2009 to continue the global partnership under the banner of “Think Wise”.

For more information please contact:

Chris Hurst
ICC – Corporate Communications Manager
Mob: +971 50 640 1215
Email: chris.hurst@icc-cricket.com
www.thinkwisecricket.com

Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury
UNICEF – Communications Officer
Mob: 01711 595045
Email: iachowdhury@unicef.org
www.unicef.org/bangladesh

 

 

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