Kent Cricket Club (KCC) Sierra Leone has recently received a huge consignment of cricket and football items donated by Australian philanthropist, Michael Pawley. This is the second set of donations from Pawley, who has a great passion to give back to the sport he played and loved, with the intention to help Kent and other clubs that will greatly benefit by affording quality playing kits for their players.
The donated items, worth over AU$8,000, which is equivalent to about eighteen million Leones (Le 18 million), comprises of new and used second-hand items. These include bats, batting pads, cricket playing shoes, gloves, jerseys, track suits, cricket balls, socks, a box of school shoes for girls, and helmet for cricket use.
Pawley has not only limited his donation to cricket, but has also provided heaps of football jerseys of different colours, boots and quality balls to be distributed to local football clubs, not to mention a volleyball net and some rugby items.
According to the veteran cricketer, donating to needy people has become part of his life, and he enjoys doing it with a lot of passion, all in the interest to promote and uplift young talented boys and girls who have decided to take up cricket as their career, “There are so many talented cricketers in Sierra Leone, but they can’t afford to buy some of this equipment because it is costly. I have been following Sierra Leone cricket, with special reference to Kent Cricket Club, for which I have so much respect, especially the manner in which their board and management is working to develop the game”, Pawley said.
Pawley further added that he will continue to send more kits to Sierra Leone, because he believes there is a possibility that the country has the potential to produce the next generation of heroes in cricket and other sports.
Promoting sports in the West African nation, he said, will be of good help in creating the environment for an all-inclusive system, which will give opportunities to less-privileged kids to showcase how talented they are and what they can deliver if only they have the platform and equipment to play. He confirmed that another set of donations will be on its way to Sierra Leone in a month or two.
“I will continue to give more to Kent Cricket Club and Sierra Leone, because as things stand, I am very satisfied with the performance of the young cricketers”, he added. Receiving the donation, KCC Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Pessima, expressed thanks and appreciation to Pawley for his continued support to their club and the country.
Pessima stated: “Kent Cricket Club is extremely honoured to receive this donation from Mike Pawley, and we cannot be more thankful to him for this generosity. We as a club would not be able to function without such donations, and we would definitely share these items to other clubs and charities around Sierra Leone to spread the joy of sport. We are honoured to spread the generosity shown to us by Mike Pawley”.
The KCC Chief Executive Officer also said that Pawley has embodied the true meaning of altruism, and everyone at Kent Cricket Club looks up to him as a true inspiration – for most of them, they look at men such as Pawley as a blueprint for the type of person they would want to be.
Pessima emphasised that as cricket continues to grow with high morals in the country, its equipment becomes more valuable and thus, each and every club including players need their personal equipment to develop their performance, both in training and on match day.
Pessima disclosed that KCC will donate some of the clothing and football items to the National Paralympics Committee of Sierra Leone (NPC-SL), the Milton Margai School for the Blind and Bombali Shebora Blind School from Makeni in the northern region of the country.
The women’s captain of KCC, Ann-marie Monica Kamara, who is also a senior player of the Sierra Leone national women’s team, expressed delight on behalf of her team-mates in receiving the donations, which she said will boost their playing and performance standards throughout the season.
“We are glad to have someone like Mike, who is providing us with the equipment we need. Had it not been for people like him and other organisations that have been helping us greatly, it would have been difficult for us to enjoy cricket, because we keep using recycled kits and most of them are very old. But with the donations, we are sure of playing competitive and enjoyable cricket with ease”, Kamara affirmed.
The Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Leone Cricket Association (SLCA), Francis Trevor Samura, welcomed the news, stating that it is a huge boost for the development of sports in the country.