More than three thousand seven hundred children from disadvantaged communities in the Western and Southern Cape have taken to the streets in recent weeks to compete in the 2008 Pinnacle Point Street Cricket League, in association with Disney, ABSA, the City of Cape Town, Lets Play and Good Hope fm, which kicked off on Friday 10th October and culminates in the overall finals on Friday 21st November.
Since the kick off teams from 15 regions have been playing weekly, and after some fierce competition will be playing against one another in regional finals this week on 14th November at 15h00. The top team from each league will then participate in the Street Cricket finals in Langa from 15h00 to 19h00 on Friday 21st November, competing for the coveted Pinnacle Point Street Cricket Champions’ Trophy.
The initiative, which is in its fifth successful season, has introduced children from Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Kwezi, Nyanga, Langa, Elsies River, Manenberg, Mitchells Plain, Ocean View and Masipumelele in Cape Town, Lwandle in Strand, Atlantis, and Kwa Nonqaba, D’almeida and Civic Park in Mossel Bay, to the game of cricket over a gruelling six-week period.
Brad Bing, MD of youth sports development agency Sporting Chance – who started the first street cricket league in 2003, says the initiative has enjoyed unprecedented success since its humble beginnings as a pilot project in Langa.
“This year we’ve included four new areas in the Western Cape taking the total number of regions up to 15. The emerging communities are filled with sport mad children and the street cricket league allows them to be actively involved in cricket and the enjoyment that goes with it in their very own neighbourhoods”, says Bing.
Regional cricket clubs and sports organisations in association with Sporting Chance organise children under 11 years old into street teams of ten. At least two members of each team must be girls and all the children must have attended school throughout the year and belong to a sport organisation or club prior to the start of the tournament – all part of Sporting Chance’s philosophy of getting as many children irrespective of race, gender or social class, off the streets, educated and into a sporting environment.
Streets in the various communities serve as the pitches, and are closed off for the matches once a week (Friday afternoon in Cape Town and Sunday afternoon in Mossel Bay), spectators are welcome.
The initiative enjoys the backing of the National Department of Health, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Education and Community Safety, and associate sponsors include Disney, Absa, the City of Cape Town, Lets Play and Good Hope fm.