The eastern Caribbean came alive with youth programmes throughout the summer and here are a couple highlights!
The West Indies Cricket Board, Sandals Foundation and the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia joined forces this summer for the development of 120 Under-15 youth cricketers.
The camp, which seeks to holistically develop cricketers from all West Indies cricket playing territories, also imparted life skill development knowledge on the history of West Indies Cricket, media relations skills and representing the West Indies with pride.
St. Lucia’s Director of Sports, Victor Reid, said the country continues to see continuous improvements in cricket from its partnership to develop the game with Sandals Foundation over the last 12 years.
“The Sandals Foundation Cricket Academy has benefited us tremendously in terms of the level of preparation for our under 15 team. We have been more competitive at the Windward and regional levels. I have to credit the improvements to the Sandals Cricket Academy which is now the High Performance Camp,” Red said.
Reid’s comments were echoed by his Antiguan counterpart, Mervin Richards, who is of the view that the collaborative effort is pivotal especially in light of the current state of the game regionally.
“The onus now is on other important stakeholders such as parents, coaches, physical education teachers, schools to also contribute meaningfully to and join the efforts already put forward by these three important sectors which are totally committed to the overall development of cricket in the entire region,” explained Richards who is the brother of legendary West Indies captain and batsman Sir Viv Richards.
Meanwhile, the Sandals Foundation announced its diamond sponsorship of CAMP GROW (Gaining a Respect for the Outdoors and our World) at the Gilbert Agricultural Rural and Development Center (GARD).
The environmental camp for children between the ages of 8 and 11 is a collaborative effort between the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) and GARD.
Thanks to the support of the Sandals Foundation, 30 scholarships enabled economically marginalized children to attend the camp free of charge.
CAMP GROW began last year with the objective of highlighting Antigua and Barbuda’s unique ecology while fostering responsible environmental stewardship.
The Director of Community Development in the Ministry of Social Transformation Brenda Thomas-Odlum lauded the partnership between the Sandals Foundation and EAG and GARD, saying: “The government is proud to stand behind this collaboration because Camp Grow is making a positive contribution to community development by helping our children to gain self-confidence and acquire knowledge that will enable them to succeed in their future endeavours.”