Cricket West Indies, Guyana Cricket Board and Republic Bank have officially launched the historic Schools 'CWI/Republic Bank Five for Fun Cricket Programme'.
The ‘Five for fun’ initiative is the first of its kind, not just for Guyana, but in the Caribbean region. Having been officially launched in Guyana on Tuesday, it will be implemented in Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools – then eventually in other Caribbean territories.
The programme will be implement with the support of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport.
Minister of Education Priya Manickchand noted that, now more than ever, it is vital to balance sports with academics.
“We have to balance the two lost years with getting whole productive children. So the recommendations and studies really are, which is what Guyana has done even before those studies were out, really are about innovatively reforming what your academic programme looks like from Ministries of Education, to make sure we don’t have another kind of pandemic/epidemic on our hands with children who are not engaged in sport.”
She added there is sufficient research to show that having sports in schools is essential to keeping children in schools and countries across the world struggle with learning loss after the last two years of the pandemic.
Minister Manickchand said, “We’ve set our sights on producing, at the end of Secondary, children who are competent […]in at least one sport, one foreign language, one musical instrument, a TVET area – agriculture, home economics, carpentry, masonry, and some level of volunteerism.”
President of the Guyana Cricket Board Bissoondyal Singh underscored the benefit of the programme in providing avenues for youths in the sport, both as athletes and at administrative levels.
“The training activities are expected to include related areas of cricket for the youngsters to eventually pursue opportunities and possibly careers as match referees, umpires, scorers, curators, coaches, managers, statisticians, physiotherapists, administrators and analysts.”
He also noted that special focus will be placed on the Nursery level since this will be the first time in Guyana’s history this age group will be involved in a cricket development programme.
From July 1 to 3, teachers and coaches who will be involved in administering the ‘Five for Fun’ programme will be trained. From July 8 to August 12 the Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ summer camp will be held.
The camp will be conducted across five hubs across the three counties.
The Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ County Festival takes place from October 3 to 7 while the Nationals will be hosted in Georgetown on October 14.
Additionally, there will be an advanced training camp for the most talented young players taking place from October 26 to 28. This camp will enable the outstanding boys and girls to experience advanced training in batting, fielding and wicket keeping.