Kiddy cricket: An investment in our future By Tony Cozier Stabroek News
March 6, 2003

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ANYONE that has attended international cricket in the Caribbean over the last few years, let alone watched coverage of matches on television, should know of the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket and the mascot for the programme, Clarence The Crab.

At every international match that is contested in the Caribbean, there is a Scotia-bank Kiddy Cricket event thattakes place. Boys and girls dressed in their Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket gear enjoy about half-hour of great fun playing cricket during the lunch interval on various days during the matches.

Clarence Goes To School is a teaching resource that is a spin-off of the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme and is the result of the tireless work of the development unit of the West Indies Cricket Board headed by Dr. Michael Seepersaud.

What the Clarence Goes To School teaching manual seeks to do is take the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme to the next level. We are looking to add another dimension away from the cricket field and into the classrooms of primary schools across the Caribbean, where we anticipate it will become a significant part of the curriculum.

The WICB is hoping that through the different aspects of cricket that learning can become more fun for primary school children and their skills in English, Mathematics, History, among other subjects, will be developed, while their love for the game is enhanced.

The Clarence Goes To School teaching manual is, therefore, very important to the development of West Indies cricket. We feel that the cricket fortune of a country is totally dependent on its developmental thrust and anything that will help to increase the interest of our school children in this noble game is worth all of the effort.

The Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme and the Clarence Goes To School teaching manual are both designed to provide an enjoyable learning experience for our primary schoolchildren 10 years old and under. It is another tool that we hope will preserve our cricket heritage for generations to come.

Our heritage is that legacy we have established in the game. Itís who West Indies was in the past. Itís who West Indies is today. And it is who West Indies will be in the future. Our heritage, therefore, is a point of reference about our identity and we must make every effort to preserve it.

The WICB knows all too well that cricket talent abounds in the West Indies, but our players have fallen rather short in their work ethic and discipline. We believe the Kiddy Cricket programme and the Clarence Goes To School teaching manual will alleviate this problem that has beset us over the years.

It will set our young players on a course very early so that they will know what is expected of them when they play for their individual territory and, indeed, the West Indies. Why?

No matter how cricket is viewed, it is a mind game.

To be outstanding at cricket, calls for players to think all the time. The batsman has to think about how to score runs against the bowler who has to think about how to get the batsman dismissed. All that time, the fielder is thinking too. Thinking if the ball comes his way, what he will do.

This is what the WICB anticipates the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme and the Clarence Goes To School teaching manual will help many of our budding young cricketers to appreciate. They will appreciate their cricket, but also the part a sound education will play in their ability to think and excel in the game.

Scotiabankís sponsorship of the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme and the Clarence Goes To School manual is very vital. We applaud the Bank for the contribution in helping to develop the imagination of every young boy and girl.

The WICB hopes that all the young players that emerge thanks to the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme and the Clarence Goes To School manual will remember the awesome contribution that Scotiabank has undertaken in making this deposit into their lives.

The Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme and the Clarence Goes To School manual emphasises the synergy between cricket and education. People around the Caribbean have long felt that sports, cricket in particular, and an education cannot mix. We hope this will prove them wrong.

The WICB feels the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme and the Clarence Goes To School manual will provide our schoolchildren with plenty of information and it will get them involved because they will now become active participants. We can hardly wait for the results.

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