Young cricketers given opportunity to train alongside World Cup stars
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.
Further player activities, as part of the Think Wise initiative, will be held during the course of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
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