The KFC Mini-Cricket programme offers kids the critical building blocks to learn the basics of cricket and entrenches a love for the game. The programme aims to engage the kids on and off the field by driving academic proficiency alongside sporting ability, giving them different perspectives on learning and problem-solving, amongst many other elements.
Additionally, the programme gives volunteer coaches a chance to go to schools and teach the learners how to play cricket and developing the athletes full potential. The coaches are responsible for the training of the learners by analyzing their performances, instructing in relevant skills and providing encouragement. Makhaya Ntini, former South African Bowler grew up herding cattle in a small village in the Eastern Cape.“We’d come home from school to to-do lists where you’d fetch cattle and run the horses, and being able to fetch water” recalls Ntini.
He was excited to tell his parents that he had been picked for the national team.“I was still young and enjoying every moment just running around and bowling to whoever is batting. Being able to learn cricket, that extra level of it. The players actually guided me; this is what you need to do to get to the level”. Ntini didn’t let his background get in the way of playing his favourite bat-and-ball game and becoming the first black person to play for the Proteas.
On the other hand, the Gauteng MEC Department of Sports and Recreation made a commitment at the 2019 Sports Indaba to prioritize grassroots development for the next couple of years. In line with the MEC’s priorities, KFC Mini-Cricket will continue to strive to make an impact on learners across all 6 495 schools that participate in the programme.
The chicken fast-food franchise is optimistic that with the start of a new year, the KFC Mini-Cricket programme will continue to make an impact in the various communities. According to Andra Nel, KFC CSI Manager, says “We anticipate offering even more children the opportunity to learn life lessons through sport with the ongoing growth of KFC Mini-Cricket. Over the last decade, we’ve witnessed a year-on-year growth with an additional 40 000 children taking part in the programme.”