Republic Bank and CWI Partner to Create Unique “Five for Fun” Cricket Programme for Primary Schoolers

St. George’s, Grenada; May 10, 2024: Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited and Cricket West Indies Inc (CWI) have joined forces to introduce an exciting element to cricket in Grenada – the Republic Bank “Five for Fun” Cricket programme for children.

The historic launch happened at the La Sagesse Playing Field on Friday, May 10th before an elite audience including Prime Minister Hon. Dickon Mitchell, President of Cricket West Indies, Inc., Dr. Kishore Shallow, Minister for Education, Sen. the Hon. David Andrew, General Manager – Operations at Republic Bank, Ms. Mavis Mc Burnie, representatives from the local territorial board, the Grenada Cricket Association, coaches and students from some of the 30 participating schools.

“Five for Fun” is a relatively new format, designed and developed by CWI to grow interest and future participation in cricket, by targeting primary school age children. The concept complements the CWI’s “Future Stars” programme and Republic Bank’s “Power to Make a Difference” programme. The goal is to introduce the concept across the territories in which Republic Bank operates, which, it is hoped eventually will produce players at the senior level. By supporting this unique “Five for Fun” initiative, Republic Bank puts its “Power to Make a Difference” programme at play, while helping to create a development foundation for CWI’s Future Stars.

In an enthusiastic address, Sen. Andrew welcomed the “Five for Fun” initiative. He spoke of the “holistic benefits of sporting activities like cricket; and the importance of life skills, not only in the classroom but on the field as well.” He also commented on the timeliness of the programme, citing the need for early investment.

Inspired by our principles of diversity, inclusion, equity and fun, both boys and girls are represented on each team. The “fun” element is found in the simplicity of the rules of the game, which are strategically set at 5-overs, 5-players. Thirty participating schools are split into six zones, five schools each. They will all play the zonal preliminary matches; each team comprising a mixture of boys and girls. Teams will play 2 innings, five overs each, and everyone will have an opportunity to bat, bowl and field. The playoffs, is scheduled for early June, and the grand festival finals on July 03rd.

In her address, Ms. Mavis Mc Burnie, General Manager – Operations at Republic Bank said: “Republic is thrilled to be teaming up with Cricket West Indies to give this amazing opportunity to our young, aspiring future stars to play this sport in a fun, and safe environment.” She further commented: “I am excited that our boys and girls now have this chance to follow their dreams; along with other boys and girls across Guyana, St. Lucia and St. Kitts & Nevis, who are already benefitting from this programme. By supporting this initiative, we are not only helping to create a development foundation for future stars of West Indies cricket: we are also helping to preserve that important linkage among Caribbean people, while enabling our children to reach their fullest potential.”

Dr. Kishore Shallow, CWI’s President who made the journey to Grenada for the launch, expressed his appreciation to Republic Bank for the value of the investment and for prioritizing the children. He commented: "This 'Five for Fun' collaborative primary school cricket initiative supported by Republic Bank is timely and essential in rebuilding mass participation in cricket. It forms part of the foundation of CWI’s players' pathway management. Youth development is a critical component of our Strategic Plan 2024 -27, as we appreciate the value of identifying and harnessing our cricketers during the embryonic stages of their cricketing journey. The programme’s goal is to promote fun and engage children in growing a love for the game while developing critical life skills."

The biggest endorsement came from Prime Minister Hon. Dickon Mitchell, who also applauded the Bank for investing in our youth. In his remarks, he noted the importance of Private Sector input in the re-development of the sport. Addressing the young, aspiring cricketers, Prime Minister Mitchell said: “See cricket not only as a form of recreation, but a business venture.” An avid cricket fan himself, he spoke of his own grassroots initiative, the Journey of Youth (“JOY”) School, a programme which brings together approx. 50 children together on Saturday mornings at the Laura Playing Field, St. David for coaching and professional training in technique, strategy and discipline, some of the essential elements needed to succeed at the game.

Bank recognizes the value of Cricket, and remains committed to supporting our youth, through its development for future generations.”

May 13, 2024
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