The ICC Cricket World Cup is the sport’s greatest gathering and this year, players as well as coaches and administrators from the Gary Kirsten Foundation are set for an all- expenses paid trip to the showpiece in the United Kingdom.
It is an unbelievable tour for many of whom have never set foot outside the Western Cape let alone get on to a plane.
“We want to create an opportunity of a lifetime for kids who love and play the sport with so much of passion,” Kirsten said.
The tour is jam packed with activities, giving the kids an opportunity to play against top UK schools, meet their Proteas heroes and watch South Africa live in action.
“It is a really exciting opportunity. There is going to be a big buzz in the UK during the World Cup and it will be great for the kids to soak it all in,” Kirsten said.
“I believe an international trip of this magnitude will also show youngsters what is possible in life and sport,” Kirsten added.
The GK Foundation which was established in 2014 develops resources and opportunities for cricket in rural communities. It focuses on providing free coaching to hundreds of youngsters, building much needed infrastructure as well as upskilling coaches.
To date the foundation has supplied five Khayelitsha schools with newly constructed artificial cricket nets, complete kit bags with cricket equipment and a full-time cricket coach, under the guidance of Gary Kirsten Cricket.
The coaches have been hand-picked from the region and have been trained and employed by the Foundation. These coaches have become the heroes of these programmes as they commit daily to township cricket development. Now the Foundation is set to reward them and their players with a trip to the World Cup.
“In turn, I want to share the story of the GK Foundation to the International cricketing community, on a platform that could potentially reach millions across the world,” Kirsten said.
Kirsten will accompany a full squad of under-13 players from the GK Foundation as well as three coaches on the trip. The tour will include attending three Protea games against Afghanistan in Cardiff, New Zealand in Birmingham and the highly anticipated Pakistan clash at the home of cricket, Lords.
To make this possible, The GK Foundation is embarking on a fundraising drive in collaboration with donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy to appeal to South Africans to support this cause.
“When I was their age I just had so many great opportunities to become better at cricket. Traveling around the world is just what cricket gave me. To provide an opportunity for these young players to go overseas and experience cricket in another county and to play and to go watch the World Cup, it’s one of the most awesome stories” -says Kirsten
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