UNICEF and ICC gift of sports equipment bowls over local school
Mbekweni, Paarl … Squeals of joy and colourful traditional dancing and drumming welcomed Claire Terblanche, Vice Captain of the South African Women’s cricket team as she handed over a set of sports equipment on behalf of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and UNICEF at a special ceremony at Mbekweni School, near Paarl.
The handover, which included cricket bats and balls, hula hoops, cones, tennis and footballs was a thank you gift to the school for their hospitality and enthusiasm during the mini clinic for children hosted by UNICEF and nine International Women’s Cricket World Cup players during qualifying matches for the World Cup in Stellenbosch in mid February.
In handing over the equipment, which will support sport children’s right to sport and recreation activities at five surrounding schools in the Mbekweni hub, Ms Terblanche, a student at Stellenbosch University expressed her commitment to improving the lives of children, saying: “I want to use my talent and knowledge in cricket to give back and to help the community.”
South African players joined players from Papua New Guinea, Ireland the Netherlands in illustrating the importance of fostering sports, recreation and life skills development through sports, in children in a mini half day clinic at the school in mid February. That visit was organised in line with the global partnership between the ICC, UNICEF and UNAIDS to draw attention to the plight of children affected by HIV and AIDS.
UNICEF and its community development partners also see sport as an excellent vehicle for promoting positive role models for gender equity and for developing critical life skills for children in under resourced schools and communities.
“I was very fortunate to be taught how to play cricket by my grandfather,” said Ms. Terblanche. “I hope these children will fall in love with the game as I did, as it can open doors to their future, like it do for me,” she said.
Photo essay: Mini cricket clinic brings joy to youngsters at Mbekweni Primary School
The mini cricket clinic delivered by the ICC women’s cricket stars, UNICEF and the ICC is counting on the power of sport to offer alternative attractions for children, to keep them focused in school and away from activities that can lead to HIV infection. View the photo essay.
[View photo essay]