By Zavela Makwabe
Youngsters from rural villages will benefit from a joint effort from to save them from idleness and help them dream.
Perksdale Village in Middledrift formed a youth cricket training centre, Time Cricket Gymnasium, to teach village children about sportsmanship and a healthy life style.
The project caters to about nine villages across the AmaGqunukhwebe chieftaincy, providing coaching clinics to both boys and girls aged ten to 15 years.
This month, Time Cricket Gymnasium welcomed a generous donation of cricket kits and equipment from relief and development NGO, World Vision.
Giving thanks for the donation consisting of thigh pads, batting gloves, cricket bats, helmets and a lot more, a delighted co-founder and cricket coach Ntsikelelo Mandita said he was very pleased with the donation as it will go a long way in assisting with the coaching clinics and growing the initiative.
“Through this initiative we wish to promote cricket in as many villages as possible around the Middledrift district because cricket is part of the sporting culture of the area. Many prominent cricketers that have made their good name in the Border, Provincial and National colours of the game are bona fides of our area. Our desire is to preserve this sport as the prime sport of our area”
He said children in rural areas, especially those that live in villages far from the tar road, hardly benefit from government youth sports programmes.
Thanduxolo Tyilo, an executive manager of the gym, said “We dream of being the country’s leading cricket nursery that will translate to international recognition putting ours and surrounding villages on the map.”
One of the beneficiaries of the project, 14-year-old Mthonyama Rebe, expressed his joy and excitement by mimicking his all-time favourite bowler, Makhaya “the Mdingi Express” Ntini, with a new cricket ball.
“We are grateful to World Vision for this equipment. It will make our training sessions more fun,” he said.