By Clifford Sihlezana.
South Africa’s leading cricket development programme - KFC Mini-Cricket - continues its great start of season as the annual KFC Mini-Cricket provincial seminar continues on its journey through the country as it moves to the Easterns Cricket Union at Willowmoore Park in Benoni this Friday 17th of September 2021.
The annual KFC Mini-Cricket Provincial Seminars are crucial in getting all the volunteers, administrators, and key stakeholders of the programme together to strategize for the season ahead as well as reflect on the previous season’s successes and challenges.
Current Easterns Men’s head coach, Sandile Masengemi, former Easterns captain and current Border assistant coach, Tumelo Bodibe, and head master from Dalpark Private School, Logan Naina, will be the guest speakers at the seminar and will share valuable insights to the coaches and volunteers who will be in attendance.
The talks will be followed up by a practical session hosted by Easterns Coaching Manager and former KFC Mini-Cricket coordinator Israel Hlengani.
The 2021/22 KFC Mini-Cricket Provincial seminar will be the first one where all of the coaches will be able to physically attend but with covid restrictions as per the government’s adjusted level 2 restrictions to make sure that the event is safe for the 80 coaches and coordinators.
The overarching theme of this year’s KFC Mini-Cricket festival is "Imvuselelo" or "Recovery" as South Africa continues to recover and rebuild from the devastating impact of the covid19 pandemic. The KFC Mini-Cricket programme has given all involved a renewed sense of hope for South Africa’s young cricket fanatics ahead of the 2021/22 season.
The 2021/22 season is a milestone one as KFC enters its 12th year as sponsor and partner of Cricket South Africa for the KFC Mini-Cricket programme while the joyous theme continues as KFC celebrates its 50th year in South Africa.
"This year is a momentous occasion for us as we turn 50 in South Africa. That’s 50 years of spreading finger Lickin’ goodness. There is no better way to celebrate our milestone than by recognizing our phenomenal volunteer coaches and coordinators.," said KFC CSI Manger Andra Ferreira Nel.
"These inspiring individuals epitomise all that is great about South Africa. Their selfless dedication allows the programme to be all-inclusive and teach the kids important life skills whilst they get active in a fun and healthy way by playing a sport that they love. They champion the spirit of community by keeping the Mini Cricket flame alive in their corners of our country and we could not be prouder to partner with them for the coming season," continued Ferreira Nel.
While safety remains the paramount priority, there is a tangible excitement about getting back onto the field and playing the game that everyone loves.
"We are very excited to have the 2021/22 KFC Mini-Cricket season get underway 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," Mokopanele concluded.
Since the inception of the program, some 2.5 million kids 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.