The Heartbeat of SA Cricket

by | Nov 23, 2007

Most girls and boys around the country have their first introduction to cricket through the Bakers Mini Cricket sports development initiative.

Most girls and boys around the country have their first introduction to cricket through the Bakers Mini Cricket sports development initiative.

For the past 25 years, Bakers
Biscuits have been giving back to South African society with their sponsorship
of the Bakers Mini Cricket programme, in association with Cricket SA.

Bakers Mini Cricket is the
longest running developmental sports sponsorship in southern Africa and is
aimed at introducing primary school children to the game of cricket, and boasts
over 100 000 children from over 5 000 schools are involved in the
programme today.

Bakers Mini Cricket was the
first organised soft ball cricket game in the world, and consists of fast,
scaled-down games with eight children per team, which can be played on any
surface with a soft ball.

All players get a chance to
bat, bowl, field and keep wicket within a safe and entertaining environment,
and for many children, this is their first exposure to the game.

Bakers Mini Cricket is open
to all children from urban to rural, boys and girls of all races and cultures
and from all walks of life.

Many of the national women’s
team players have had early exposure to cricket through the Bakers Mini Cricket,
programme, not to mention men’s players including Mark Boucher, Herschelle
Gibbs, Shaun Pollock, and Makhaya Ntini who was discovered playing Bakers Mini
Cricket in the rural area of Mdingi in the Eastern Cape.

"The Bakers Mini Cricket
programme has played a huge role in the rise and popularity of cricket
development among the youth of South
Africa. The on-going partnership with
Cricket SA and the continued sponsorship by Bakers ensures that the game
continues to grow and penetrate further into the South African landscape," says
Cheryl Stiles, Bakers Marketing Manager.

Bakers Mini Cricket was
originally developed in the 1980s by Dr Ali Bacher, the then Chief Executive of
the Transvaal Cricket Union who devised a modified form of the game.

Bakers Mini Cricket picture

The game was based on the
soft-ball cricket, which was played by young and old as a recreational pastime
in the West Indies. Bacher also included a
township programme, which took Bakers Mini Cricket into the most impoverished
areas of South Africa.

Bacher found a willing
sponsor in Bakers, who saw the programme as an opportunity to invest in the
adults of tomorrow.  The sponsorship was launched as a regional experiment
in Gauteng
and within four years the sponsorship went national.

"The support of consumers has
made it possible for Bakers to continue sponsoring this worthy programme. It
has always been our belief that contributing to the health and wellness of
youth and giving them the opportunity to play together as children, will ensure
strong, unified adults," concludes Stiles.

find out more about the Bakers Mini Cricket Programme, contact Cricket SA on
011 880 2810.

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About the Author:

<a href="" target="_self">Kass Naidoo</a>

Kass Naidoo

Passionate sports broadcaster and founder of gsport4girls


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