WITH the cricket season in full swing, the role of Youth Cricket is under the spotlight with the school holidays just around the corner.
This is the traditional time of year for numerous Youth Cricket weeks to take place next month under the banner of Cricket South Africa (CSA) from under-13 right through to under-19.
At an event held in Johannesburg this morning, Coca-Cola South Africa and CSA outlined their commitment to the development of cricket at Youth Level.
Coca-Cola have been a major supporter of Youth Cricket with their sponsorship of the Khaya Majola Under 19 week running in excess of 30 years.
This year’s Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week will be played in Durban from 16-21 December.
More recently, the beverage giant committed to partnering with another great initiative, the Coca-Cola Schools T20 challenge which sees almost 700 schools compete nationally in a knock-out tournament to see who will represent the 6 franchises. The winner is then crowned national champions.
The Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week is the flagship Youth week and plays a major role in the selection of the South Africa under-19 squad that will go to next year’s ICC under-19 World Cup. The culmination of the week is also the announcement of the prestigious South African Schools team.
“The world famous Coca-Cola brand has become synonymous with Youth cricket in South Africa,” commented Corrie van Zyl, CSA Manager: Cricket. “It stands both for quality of cricket through the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola under-19 Week, the South African Schools XI and the South African under-19 squad and for quality of opportunity through the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge.
“The quality of the former speaks for itself if you consider that the vast majority of our current Proteas represented their provinces at this week. The T20 Challenge is the fastest growing competition across all sporting codes in South Africa and is playing a major role in fulfilling CSA’s vision of making cricket a truly national sport and South Africa a nation of winners.
“Coca-Cola have been friends and partners of CSA for a very long time and I would like to thank them for their continuing, invaluable contribution to the development of our game.”
“As sponsors of the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week and the Coca-Cola T20 Schools Challenge, we believe these programmes are where heroes are made”, commented Fetsi Mbele, Coca-Cola IMC – Marketing Assets Manager. “All but a handful of the current crop of heroes doing battle with Pakistan played in the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week. In addition, the first of the Coca-Cola T20 Schools Challenge graduates – Quinton De Kock – is already making a name for himself on the international stage.
“The Coca-Cola T20 Schools Challenge is a relatively new competition, but we believe it is already changing the schools cricket landscape. It also endeavours to promote cricket in more and more schools in our communities as we strive to include more previously disadvantaged schools each year in the program.”
Coca-Cola has also come up with an exciting new initiative this season called the Coca-Cola 30 Minutes Heroes Challenge.
The aim of the program is promote Active healthy living and get more kids moving through a fun competition. Participating schools are challenged to get as many kids through a 5-drill course as possible in a 30 minute time period.
The school with the most teens successfully completing the course in the allocated time will receive an outdoor gym to the value of R200 000. 17 schools have already completed the course and it will continue in 2014.