|Children from local school cricket teams waved flags on the tarmac at Cheddi Jagan International Airport as they welcomed the West Indies cricket team to Guyana. The children are all participants from the Kiddies Cricket national knockout competition.|
By Stuart Sutton-Jones
TIMEHRI, Guyana, 3 April 2007 – Under banners proclaiming Unite for Children Unite against AIDS, young cricketers from across Guyana welcomed the West Indies cricket team as they arrived at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Timehri last week.
In this cricket-mad part of the world, most children play Guyana’s national game and these children were members of school teams that had taken part in the Kiddies Cricket national knockout competition.
Although these young cricketers had not made it to the final rounds of the competition, they were delighted to take part in the welcoming ceremony and provided a festive greeting to their Caribbean heroes.
Waving flags and dancing to the sound of tassa and African drumming, the students presented the team with t-shirts emblazoned with the Unite for Children Unite against AIDS slogan. They were accompanied by members of the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB), representatives of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 and other officials.
|West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara was welcomed by a young cricketer as his team arrived at the airport in Timehri, Guyana. The West Indies team was travelling to Guyana for their crunch match against Sri Lanka.|
Using sports in the fight against AIDS
The airport greeting was organized by UNICEF, a member of the partnership between the International Cricket Council (ICC), UNAIDS and the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS, that is using cricket to highlight the situation of children and young people living with and affected by HIV.
All around the Caribbean, members of cricket teams taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 have been visiting facilities where young people can receive information on HIV and AIDS as well as counselling and testing.
UNICEF Child Survival Officer Michelle Rodrigues said UNICEF was taking the opportunity to use sports in the fight against the disease.
“The interaction between children and famous sportsmen will increase the children’s understanding of the issues related to HIV and instil a positive attitude in their minds,” she said.
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