The Botswana Cricket Association (BCA)’s cricket development programme, aimed at introducing and improving cricket in government schools, recently added another 500 primary students to its ever growing list of registered cricket playing schools.
This makes the programme responsible for about 3800 children.
For the past three years since its inception, the programme has been signing a record of 20 schools per year.
The programme now boasts of 60 government schools in and around Gaborone.
The BCA went against popular belief that it only registers schools in Gaborone and its outskirts when out of the 8 recently signed schools, only one was from Gaborone, one school was from Kanye, two from Ramotswa, one from Pilane, one from Morwa, and one from Sikwane.
The schools bring with them a total of 16 teachers, at least 6 of whom were initially introduced to the sport by the Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) crew that was recently in the country, so they are considered a step-ahead of the others.
The Developmental Officer and treasurer of the BCA, Girish Ramakrishna, said that they expect to have at least one or two cricket sessions this year because primary schools are just about to close.
There is a possibility of there being a one-day cricket tournament for girls next week Wednesday.
“The plan is to start 2010 with a bang, because right now we are approaching the end of the year and everybody is losing focus. They all want to go home, but we are now moving out of the city and its outskirts, signing in schools from as far as Kanye, slowly spreading,” said Ramakrishna.
According to Ramakrishna, the encouragement and enthusiasm they receive from schools outside Gaborone has been overwhelming.
“The hunger for performance, the hunger to excel, the enthusiasm is just amazing; I believe that once the kids from outside Gaborone are given a conducive environment to perform, other qualities are built up,” said Ramakrishna.
However, the continuing growth of the programme is being threatened by the issue of insufficient land for cricket matches.
“We are skeptical as to whether we can manage to take in more schools next year. We have been asking government for more land so we can build more cricket grounds but we are still waiting for their response. It is going to a challenge without more grounds,” said Ramakrishna.