ICC Cricket World Cup 2007
Cricket is the unofficial sport of, not only Guyana, but the Caribbean and in March the Caribbean hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 event.
UNICEF, along with UNAIDS and the National AIDS Programme Secretariat(NAPS) has been working closely with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for Cricket World Cup (CWC) www.cricketworldcup.com/guyana-loc and other partners to utilize this event to bring focus to HIV/AIDS in Guyana and the Caribbean region.
At the local level plans for the formulation of partnership was announced on World AIDS Day 2006 during a press conference held at the spanking new Providence Stadium where Guyana hosted its matches. UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Mr Reuben Del Prado and UNICEF Programme Officer, Dennis Arends sat besides host Ministers Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Sports and Dr. Beri Ramsarran, Minister within the Ministry of Health and addressed both local and international media personnel.
At that forum it was announced that HIV awareness activities around the ICC World Cup 2007 will focus around national issues in light of the Global Campaign on Children and AIDS.
CRICKET WORLD CUP 2007 DEDICATED TO CHILDREN AND THE PREVENTION OF HIV AND AIDS
Recognizing the vast potential the popularity of cricket has to raise awareness of AIDS and challenge public opinion, the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently teamed up with UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Caribbean Broadcasting Media Partnership on HIV and AIDS (CBMP) at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, to highlight the issues facing children and young people affected by HIV and call for the resources and actions required to address them. The partnership aimed to ensure that the public - especially young people aged 15 to 24 - became more aware of the increasing incidence of HIV within their age group and were informed about ways to protect themselves from infection.
Through a series of high-profile activities around cricket’s biggest event, the Partnership supported the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign, launched in 2005 by UNICEF, UNAIDS and other partners. Various messages about HIV and AIDS were made prominent, including HIV prevention and overcoming stigma and discrimination. Cricketers from participating teams for CWC 2007 also visited various sites and participated in initiatives to support children and young people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
The first field visit in Guyana was made to the Dorothy Bailey Centre by members of the South African Cricket Team. The cricketers interacted with young people, shared experiences, offered cricketing tips and even engaged in a friendly cricket match.
The Dorothy Bailey Centre is a municipal facility that educates young people on a range of social issues including HIV and AIDS. It is supported by UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and is the first Youth Friendly Health Centre opened in Guyana.
Leading ICC Umpire Simon Taufel and Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle also took time out to attend a workshop on HIV and AIDS. The workshop was aimed at sensitizing children, teachers and local umpires on key issues of prevention and healthy lifestyles while using sports for development. Among the participants were the Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, representatives from the local umpires association and students and teachers from four primary schools in Region 4.- Georgetown/Mahaica.
The ICC officials also had brief discussions with the group before sharing valuable tips and playing friendly matches with Guyana’s next generation of cricketers.
See Press Release: Cricket World Cup 2007 Dedicated to Children and HIVand AIDS