Experience of a lifetime for US kids
Fort Lauderdale, Florida -- It was thought to be the most unusual place for cricket, but for kids who came out to the Digicel Cricket Experience in Lauderhill, Florida it was the perfect venue.
West Indies cricket sponsors Digicel was thrilled to connect with the World Wide Cricket Academy (WWCA) based in Fort Lauderdale. WWCA was started two years ago by a group of cricket enthusiasts and currently has 65 registered youngsters ages 5 – 22 years old. The goal was to promote cricket and provide a platform for its growth, but they also provide after school care, tutoring and other developmental programmes making them a positive partner with the city of Lauderhill.
“What is the value of success if we cannot pass it on?” For Chris Gayle who helped teach the kids, that is what it is all about, “teaching and inspiring young people with the talent I have been given is such a privilege and something I really am happy I can do.”
Gayle realised the value of this knowing how various people have inspired and helped him over the years and he appreciates Digicel’s commitment too, “Digicel should really be applauded for doing this in all the countries and giving these kids this opportunity that otherwise they would never have.”
When the six West Indies players joined the kids on the field, it was very apparent these kids were excited! Captain Darren Sammy and players Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Fidel Edwards and Denesh Ramdin spent a couple hours teaching the youngsters cricket skills, taking photos, signing autographs and just interacting with them.
“It is always moving when we see the West Indies players working with and inspiring youngsters, but for these kids that have never experienced International cricket before it was really special,” stated Digicel Group Sponsorship Manager, Nicola Hawkes who was on hand to see the faces close up. “You never know the effect that events like this can have on a child; it’s something Digicel is very proud to be able to do as part of our West Indies Cricket sponsorship.”
Born in the United States of Trinidadian parentage, 16 year old Rajiv Ramlal was very thankful to Digicel too! “This was a great experience! I used to live in New York and cricket is very big there, but not so much in Florida and I am trying to help it grow and plan on bringing the sport to my school. Being able to learn from the West Indies players was awesome, I really learned a lot!”
The Digicel Cricket Experience events are happening throughout the Digicel Series in all venues to enhance the WICB Digicel Grassroots cricket development programme.