The Department of Basic Education (DBE), Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and a Cricket South Africa (CSA) delegation visited the Dobsonville Regional Performance Centre (RPC) in Soweto on 17 February 2016. The visit was part of an awareness campaign to highlight the role SRSA and the DBE are playing in CSA’s Hubs and RPC programme.
Last year, the three organisations signed an operational agreement to fast track cricket development at schools. As part of this agreement, the DBE and SRSA committed to work alongside CSA to fully operationalise 58 Cricket Hubs; to develop cricketers at its Cricket Hubs, RPCs and Provincial Academies; and to run cluster leagues to feed into the National School Sport Programme in the identified Hubs. SRSA will provide 10 schools with equipment in each of the Hubs and ensure the establishment of Cricket Code Committees for schools at District, Provincial and National levels; provide support to integrate the elite cricketers into CSA’s High Performance Programmes through CSA’s existing integrated system of talent scouts, coaching mentors and Sports Science Programmes; and support worthy educational and sporting causes from time to time as identified by the three parties. The DBE agreed to extend its early learning and e-learning programmes to the CSA Hubs.
Speaking on behalf of the DBE, the Deputy Director-General for Social Mobilisation and Support Services, Dr Granville Whittle, acknowledged the intervention of the private sector in the National School Sport Programme and added that sport in schools is crucial because it helps learners to remain healthier, fitter and to strive to achieve academically.
“The DBE is very excited about this initiative. We believe that it provides us with an implementation model to, not only revitalise sports development in our townships and rural areas, but also to improve educational outcomes in the basic education sector. We value this partnership with Cricket South Africa and look forward to growing the talent pool of black cricket players in our schools,” commented Dr Whittle.
“The CSA Hubs will open doors for many young cricketers in areas struggling with facilities, thus creating a pathway for their success and addressing issues of transformation in this code,” said Ms Nozipho Xulu, Acting Chief Director, Social Mobilisation and Enrichment in Education.
CSA General Manager for Cricket, Mr Corrie van Zyl, said that the partnership will play a pivotal role in developing cricket in South Africa. “With the RPC Hubs programme into its second full year, we are starting to see success stories emerging from around the country. CSA spends R20-million rand on this programme on an annual basis, and with the additional assistance from the DBE and SRSA, the programme will only grow as we look to unearth more cricketers from disadvantaged areas. I want to sincerely thank the respective government departments for their vital contributions to the programme,” concluded Van Zyl.
In the last year alone, the RPC Hubs programme proudly looks back on the following highlights:
- 640 talented KFC mini-cricket players were identified during the provincial festivals and re-directed to the various RPC Hubs (transition from soft ball to hard ball);
• 117 under 14 players from Hubs/RPC took part in the SA Schools National Championships during 2015, creating an opportunity for the talented players to receive exposure to play in a provincial tournament;
• 123 players from Hubs/RPC were selected for the respective CSA provincial age groups;
• Mr Kgomotso Mothoa, head coach from the Hammanskraal Hub, was selected for 2015/16 Hub/RPC coach of the year and subsequently attended the Leaders in Sport Conference in New York; and
• All the head coaches have been given an opportunity to manage their budgets and supervise daily activities allowing them to play a leadership role.
CSA also took the opportunity to announce a partnership with educational TV experts, Mindset. This partnership will see dedicated cricket coaching educational programmes produced and flighted on the Mindset platforms. The Hubs are seen as a very important milestone in the development of cricket in South Africa. It is envisaged that all Hubs will be fitted with a satellite dish and an OVHD decoder to ensure young cricketers have access to all cricket education, as well as curriculum-aligned education delivered by Mindset. “The Mindset initiative is quite exciting as it will allow us a greater reach - something we’ve not had before, and this will also be supported with coaching information across CSA’s digital and social media platforms,” explained Van Zyl.