Members of the Australian Cricket team visited Hatcliffe Extension in Harare today to meet some of the local children and learn about the work a Brisbane based charity, Grassroots Cricket is doing in the community to better the education of the local children.
Grassroots Cricket uses the power of cricket to educate, inspire and mobilise disadvantaged communities. The aim of the organisation is to facilitate the spread of cricket in underdeveloped countries primarily in Africa to provide an opportunity for underprivileged children to enjoy a more fulfilling life. It does this by providing equipment donated by Brisbane cricket clubs.
Tawanda Karasa, Grassroots Cricket Director said: “It is no mean achievement for cricket in Zimbabwe and specifically for young people of Hatcliffe. This will go a long way towards inspiring the development of the sport in the area. This is a demonstration of how we can use the power and spirit of cricket to break down social barriers and change the lives of disadvantaged. The visit will give kids a rare chance to rub shoulders with their world class heroes on this tour.”
Australian Patron of Grassroots Cricket Patron, Greg Chappell, said:.“I am delighted that Cricket Australia has been able to accommodate such a good cause. Well done to all involved including Grassroots Cricket, Cricket Australia and YASD”.
Grassroots Cricket Inc is partnering with Young Achievement Sports for Development (YASD), a youth-focused, community-based organization that uses sport to transform marginalised and vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe to implement its Cricket4Hope program. YASD’s mission is "To transform communities through sport, by delivering effective mentorship, coaching and education to young people from impoverished backgrounds".
"YASD is humbled and honoured to have the Australian Cricket team visit Hatcliffe Extension. The visit by the team is an historic occasion as they are the first international sports team to visit the Hatcliffe Extension settlement and support the sports based initiative of the organisation in transforming communities.” said Joe Kuseka, YASD Spokesperson.
Speaking on the experience Australian T20 vice-captain Alex Carey said: “It was incredible to get out to the Hatcliffe community today and see for ourselves the great work charities like Grassroots Cricket and YASD do.”
“The smiles on the kid’s faces will be something I remember forever and it was awesome to see how powerful sport can be when used as a vehicle to drive education in these communities.”
Through its official charity partners, Movember, the McGrath Foundation and the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, individual player charities, disaster relief efforts, and broader community work, the Cricket Cares program uses cricket as an agent of change in the community.
Australian crickets squads undertake community work during each of their overseas tours.