THE Australia Cricket team yesterday took a day off from their commitments to spend time with the underprivileged children at a satellite school, Hatcliffe Extension primary, formerly Grace Mugabe.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Australia are taking part in the T20 tri-Series involving Zimbabwe and Pakistan currently underway at Harare Sports Club.
The visit was directed at developmental cricket project Cricket4Hope co-ordinated by Young Achievement Sports for Development.
The Cricket4Hope project seeks to educate, inspire and raise awareness among young people from marginalised and vulnerable communities.
“It’s obviously something new for me to experience, coming here into this community seeing all these kids and walking into their classrooms. It’s really nice to see the smile on the kids’ faces when we walked in. I guess for us it makes think how lucky we are living in Australia. But the kids are fantastic they put smiles on our faces and it was nice to see them smile too,” Aussies vice-captain Alex Carey said.
Following their 100-run victory over hosts Zimbabwe on Tuesday, the Australians arrived in Hatcliffe Extension, a largely informal community, lacking in basic amenities around 10am and spent three hours.
They engaged with children in classes, conducted a coaching clinic, had fun and games, before donating equipment while they so distributed sweets and drinks.
“I can see future stars coming from this community. The kids have been learning very fast, some of the shot they have been playing, the hand high skills have been fantastic, the bowling is great so I have got no doubt that some of these kids will grow up to be professional cricketers,” he added.
YASD communications officer Joe Kaseka said, “The visit by the Australian cricket team is historical as they are the first international professional sports team to visit the community and use the power of cricket to inspire the young people in the community to pursue an education.
“This is a life changing event because this is the first time for these kids to interact with any professional cricketer.”
The #Cricket4Hope project is being done in partnership with Grassroots Cricket, a Brisbane based charity which uses the power of cricket to educate, inspire and mobilise disadvantaged communities in Africa.