KFC Mini-Cricket is critical to identify our talented youngsters.
NORTHERN Cape youngsters keen on the Gentleman’s game can once again look forward to getting back onto the cricket field after being out of action for 18 months, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, when South Africa’s leading cricket development programme – KFC Mini-Cricket – kicks off again.
The season got off to a smashing start with the all-important KFC Mini-Cricket Provincial Seminars where all the volunteers, administrators, and key stakeholders of the programme got together to strategise the new season which has been called “Imvuselelo” or “Recovery”.
“KFC Mini-Cricket is critical for us as this is the platform we use to identify our talented youngsters,” explained Buhle Motshegoa, Cricket South Africa’s mass participation manager. “It is where we source our skilled future players that we either watch from afar or we put into Hubs and schools where they can be developed over the years and finally make it to the Proteas.”
Covid put paid to the traditional large KFC Mini-Cricket festivals and instead they will be adapted to smaller sessions, but multiple times during the day. Talent scouts, celebrities, music and fun will still be there to keep the KFC Mini-Cricket spirit going.
According to the press release received yesterday, “The KFC Mini-Cricket campaign focus will be on getting youngsters active again in a fun way. To get them excited about being on the cricket field, meeting up with other children and helping them feel that life is awesome, and they are important.”
“The KFC Mini-Cricket seminar was used to motivate the coaches,” explained Buhle. “If the coach is excited and energetic the kids will feel it and they will have fun as well.”
Buhle explained why the sessions were spread out and split apart. “Safety comes first, and we have had to split the upcoming festivals into smaller ones with less kids per session as per the government regulations, but in multiple sessions during the day which keeps the importance of the festivals.
“The season, which we refer to as Imvuselelo, reflects exactly where we are – we are recovering after a long hard and stressful time. We would like all of our kids to come back and take part in the programme. We have also encouraged the coaches to attend free courses offered by Cricket SA and upskilling themselves in preparation for the post Covid world.
“We are expecting lots of action and excitement.”
The 2021/22 season is a milestone one as KFC enters its 12th year as sponsor and partner of Cricket South Africa and it is also a milestone for KFC as they celebrate 50 years in South Africa.
KFC CSI Manger Andra Ferreira Nel was excited about the milestone saying, “This year is a momentous occasion for us as we turn 50 in South Africa. That’s 50 years of spreading finger Licken’ goodness. There is no better way to celebrate our milestone than by recognising our phenomenal volunteer coaches, coordinators and players.”
The KFC Mini-Cricket Programme not only gets children active but equips youngsters with various life skills such as effective communication, teamwork, goal-setting, empathy and various other soft skills required in a team environment.
“We are very excited to have the 2021/22 KFC Mini-Cricket season get under way as we will get kids across different communities active. However, we are still aware that the pandemic has not ended, and safety will still be a priority with all protocols still having to be observed in the upcoming seminars and festivals,” reassured CSA Mass participation manager David Mokopanele.
“The majority of our administrators and volunteers have been vaccinated during the season break and we hope this will go a long way towards increasing the safety within the KFC Mini-Cricket season, allowing us to get more kids active for a sustained period this season,” he added.
Since the inception of the programme, some 2.5 million youngsters have played KFC Mini-Cricket and over 120 players have gone on to play for South Africa in various teams. The programme plays a crucial role in CSA’s development framework as over 2,000 players have been identified in the programme and have been directed to their respective Development Hubs and Regional Performance Centres.
Over the next few months, the KFC Mini-Cricket season will unfold, and dates will be announced for all the activities that the participating children, coaches and administrators in Northern Cape can enjoy and have fun.
While safety remains the paramount priority, there is a tangible excitement about getting back onto the field and playing the game that everyone loves.
About KFC Mini-Cricket
KFC Mini-Cricket provides a platform for children in South Africa to have fun and get active. It is the largest grassroots development sports programme in South Africa and is also an essential building block for learning cricketing basics and entrenching a love for the game.
In the previous full season, 2019/20 there were over 126,000 children from over 6,600 schools active in the KFC Mini-Cricket programme who are coached by over 13,600 volunteer coaches.
Year on year there are a minimum of 45,000 matches played. KFC has sponsored KFC Mini-Cricket since 2010 and in the 2012/13 cricket season KFC became the title sponsor of the KFC T20 Internationals.