Kent cricket club in Sierra Leone has received a major boost with the announcement that United Kingdom based coaching agency Coaching Cricket Excellence has donated equipment – including bats, pads, helmets, gloves and balls – to the club
The Director of Coaching Cricket Excellence Peter Willings said, “helping Sierra Leone is part of a wider aim we have to supply cricket kit and other sporting equipment to parts of the world that are not as advantaged as Britain and Sierra Leone is one of the country “We have more than enough cricket equipment here,(Britain) both new and old, and we believe it’s only right that people elsewhere get use of it rather than it being available to those who have plenty already.”
Kent Cricket Club Executive Committee with the equipment
He also stated that Coaching Cricket Excellence is a Coaching Agency based in Ealing, West London, England. They exist to help people of all ages play the sport from the age of four upwards. They are presently running holiday cricket courses, Sunday cricket club, individual coaching, children’s cricket parties and two superb academies. Coaching Cricket Excellence team is also passionately committed to helping develop the sport in areas of the world that experience real hardship. They currently have projects running in Uganda, India, Rwanda, South Africa and the Caribbean.
(Photo: Kent Cricket Club Executive Committee with the equipment)
The Director Peter Willings has revealed that Sierra Leone has experienced more than its fair share of hardship. The civil war which stretched from 1991 to 2002 decimated the country. 50,000 people were killed, hundreds of thousands were wounded, many permanently, and towns, villages and cities were left without basic amenities.
Few people may be aware that cricket has been played in Sierra Leone at sub-regional domestic level since the 1930′s and was enjoyed by a modest but dedicated and passionate group of followers and participants. Unsurprisingly, the civil war obliterated nearly all the cricketing infrastructure. Grounds and equipment were destroyed almost without exception. By rights, the game could have and perhaps, should have died. Instead, it has made a genuine “From the Ashes” comeback.
Peter Willings said “Kent Cricket Club is doing a wonderful job helping generate interest in cricket. Keep getting the children involved from as young an age as possible and with luck you’ll get a touring team from the UK come visit you soon.” Peter further promised that he will continue to help the Kent Cricket Club with equipments and other areas as long as he is able to. “I’ve assisted with sending cricket kit to Uganda, India, Rwanda, Afghanistan, the West Indies and South Africa thus far. I would like to say a big thank you to my friend Bernie Spratt and our donors for their support, without that it wouldn’t have happened.”
The Founder and Secretary General of the Kent Cricket Club Emmanuel Pessima spoke of his delight at receiving the new equipments. “We have the desire to develop cricket much more extensively at the grassroots level but we don’t have the necessary equipment and facilities. Hopefully this donation will be the beginning of something wonderful. “We would like to thank the Coaching Cricket Excellence and their donors for wonderful contribution. It will really help us and we are very grateful.”