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Abuja Cricket Club takes cricket to schools

About 190 students and their games masters and mistresses from different secondary schools participated in the one-day cricket training organised by the club. Some of…

About 190 students and their games masters and mistresses from different secondary schools participated in the one-day cricket training organised by the club.

Some of the participating schools included Model Secondary School, Maitama, White Plain British School, Jabi, Government Secondary School, Nyanya, Federal Government College, Apo, Government Secondary School, Karu, Army Day Secondary School, Asokoro, Government Day Secondary School, Kwali, Federal Government Boys College, Garki and others.

The event which took place at the cricket oval court of the Abuja National Stadium, Abuja, was handled by some volunteer coaches from the club and witnessed by a representative of the Nigerian Cricket Federation, Endurance Ofem.

Students from four of the nine schools were introduced to the sport last year by the same cricket club, while other five schools told Grassroots Sports they had never come in contact with the sport before.

With enthusiasm on the faces of the students and their games masters and mistresses, they were introduced to the basics of the game, after which they engaged in quick cricket matches.

Speaking to Grassroots Sports during the event, the initiator of the project, Mr. Richard Penbroke, said he decided to take cricket to secondary schools in order to tap the abundant talents at that level.

“I discovered that once the game is introduced to the students at the school level, some of them will fall in love with the sport and will take it to another level. Last year we introduced the game to about four schools and the results from them have been encouraging.

“This year, we have increased the number of schools. We do not only train them, we train their gamesmaster and mistresses, so that they can continue from where we stopped,” Penbroke said.

Asked if his imminent departure from Nigeria will not lead to the demise of the laudable project, Penbroke said he hoped to monitor the project from wherever he is, expressing confidence in the ability of the club members to sustain the project.

Two of the participating students from the Federal Governmet Boys College, Garki, Adeniran Adeshina and Emeka Onuoha, expressed desire to continue playing the game.

“The game is very interesting. I even find it better than football in terms of physical and mental development of students. I love the game,” Adeniran said.

“We thanked Mr. Penbroke for this initiative, if it can be replicated in other parts of the country, I am very sure cricket will gain more popularity among Nigerians,” Alli Tajudeen (games master) said.

Representing the Cricket Federation, Endurance Ofem, a national cricket team player, expressed the desire of the federation to continue partnering with initiatives that are geared toward developing the sport in Nigeria.

“The federation donated bats and ball for the students to take back to their schools, so that they can continue practising what they have learnt here today,” Ofem said.


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