Help us build a cricket net to get township kids into cricket

By Gary Kirsten Foundation

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The background:

The Gary Kirsten Foundation is working with schools throughout the township of Khayelitsha in Cape Town to inspire kids to take up cricket by providing safe and accessible facilities within their schools. We are hoping to raise enough money for them to build a new cricket net in another school, to get more kids off the street and into cricket.

The cause:

Gary Kirsten is a former South African cricketer. He played 101 Test matches and 185 ODIs for South Africa, mainly as an opening batsman. His foundation, the Gary Kirsten Foundation (GKF), aims to give broader access to the game of cricket, as well as to discover talented individuals in disadvantaged communities and provide them with opportunities to receive quality cricket coaching. Alongside the coaching there is also a coaching development programme for aspiring coaches to earn a sustainable income and service the needs of the cricketing community.

GKF have successfully provided four schools in Khayelitsha with cricket infrastructure: Chris Hani, Siphamandla, Impendulo and Sivile. They supply each school with newly constructed artificial cricket nets, complete kit bags with cricket equipment for an entire team and a full-time cricket coach.

The problem:

Unfortunately, the general state of outdoor practice facilities in Khayelitsha is very poor, and not good enough to provide for the needs of aspiring township cricketers.

This has a direct impact on the development of the game in the township areas as there are no adequate facilities where coaching, playing or cricket development can take place.

Our aim:

There is a cost of approx. R80,000 per net for each new net facility. These newly constructed nets comprise of a prepared concrete base covered with astroturf, and netting covering the steel frame structure. The nets are lockable to reduce unauthorized access and excessive use, and this also reduces vandalism and theft. Our aim is to raise enough money to pay for one cricket net in a designated school in Khayelitsha. R80,000 is approx. £4,400 at today's exchange rate, so we have a lot of money to raise!!

Our challenge:

On 13th July, we will be walking together with friends Beth & Holly Hunter, Melissa Benham & Clemmie Boyd (who will also be raising money for a great cause!) to complete the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge in under 12 hours. It's 23 miles with a total ascent of 1381 metres... so it's going to be tough!! We have trained for the walk by doing the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze expedition, walking for two days (on two separate weekends) and carrying all our kit. The one positive of this challenge is that we will only be carrying our snacks (and maybe helping our mums carry their kit as they haven't trained as much as us!).

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Nicky Laird

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