A winning partnership for northern areas
BLG Gelvandale Cricket Club have forged a partnership with Helenvale Cricket Club in the hope of uncovering and nurturing future stars, president Gary Dolley said.
He was speaking at the club’s official launch of the 2018 Academy season on Friday, which was attended by parents and young cricketers, who received new kit sporting the new corporate branding.
Being a regional performance centre in the northern areas, Dolley said the partnership was a way for the club to give back to the community in helping to source the next batch of talented young stars.
The partnership with the Helenvale Cricket Club saw one of their coaches, Fernando Adriaan, being appointed as an assistant coach to the hub programme, creating an opportunity for him to visit five schools in the Helenvale and Gelvandale areas in the mornings to scout for talent among their grade 4 and 5 groups.
“We want to work with all clubs,” Dolley said. “They cannot have only one team – they need to have a range of activities when it comes to Helenvale and the challenges people face in the area.
“We thought it was strategic for us to sign an agreement where the [Helenvale] club makes use of our facilities on a Monday and Wednesday.”
Being stretched far and wide across the northern areas, Dolley said there were other coaches who also visited schools in the area to further expand their net in search of youngsters during mornings.
“Once identified, selected players are then collected via a new vehicle purchased by the club through the assistance of sponsors BLG Logistics, and brought to the Gelvandale Cricket Club facility in the afternoon,” he said.
“There they work with the hub coaches, including head coach Warren Bell.”
Dolley said hub teams, which included age-group sides from under-11 to U19, were playing in the school leagues and that the long-term goal was to ensure that the identified players were integrated into these teams.
“We need to get closer to the parents, which is key for us. For children to see their parents supporting from the boundary can only help them perform better,” he said.
Speaking about getting more girls involved in the sport, Dolley said women’s cricket in the province needed a lot of attention.
He said they had partnered with some schools in the northern areas which either had girls’ teams or were interested in learning to play the game.
This had shown a lot of promise, he said.
Eastern Province Cricket services manager Colin Gxowa commended the club on their drive to take cricket to the less privileged areas of the city.
“To ensure the cricket pipeline continuously produces the best players, we need to involve everybody – from clubs, to sponsors, parents and schools,” Gxowa said.
“They must all form part of the drive if we are to create a sustainable flow of top players,” he said.
Alicia Tobias-Hendricks from BLG Logistics said the firm was delighted to be spending another year on board, making a difference in the lives of young, prospective cricketers.