As part of the ICC's THINK WISE programme, the sessions were delivered by Cricket Without Boundaries on the outfield at Cardiff Wales Stadium and the children had the chance to learn about the skills involved with cricket, batting, bowling and fielding, from the players and coach, while also understanding the background of THINK WISE and learning about HIV and AIDS awareness.
Each player worked with the groups and then the children had the chance to ask the players questions about their cricketing careers and how important it was to be responsible and concentrate on studying in order to improve oneself and ones cricketing prospects.
Anderson said after the clinic: “‘It was good. I can remember when I was a youngster and coming to these things was always exciting and something you remember for a long time. It’s important to do these things during the tournament as I guess it gets our faces out there, and gives the public a chance to meet the players. When I was a youngster it was always something you wanted to do, to meet the players. I think just getting us out there and meeting people is important.”
Former New Zealand bowler Shane Bond who recently joined the BLACK CAPS as their bowling coach also took part in the clinic and said: “It’s always fun doing camps like this; I’ve done a lot of this at home. Anything that raises the awareness of AIDS and cricket in general as well is a good thing.”
When asked about his knowledge of HIV and AIDS, Bond added: “It’s probably something I’m unfamiliar with, to be fair. It’s not something I deal with on an everyday basis or see on an everyday basis, but having toured Africa and the sub-continent on a number of occasions, that’s when you see it in its realism, so whatever you can do as a cricketer to raise the awareness of anything that helps under-privileged or people that are less fortunate than ourselves is good. I think the kids at today’s event had the chance to do something different, and also the chance to meet heroes who you would never get to meet on a daily basis.
“I didn’t have the chance to do such things as a kid, I remember being around cricket grounds on the boundary and you might get to be close to players, but now, having been involved in the game for a long time, we run camps at home where kids can get closer to their heroes and kids can give them a grilling and I think it’s fantastic. I think the opportunity to do that with the people who love the game and want to play it is great.”
Colin Munro, a 26-year-old batsman in the side echoed his team mates sentiments about the clinic: “It was awesome. It was a good experience, building that awareness as well that surrounds it. Obviously there’s a big media push around the world about HIV and AIDS in Africa and the sub-continent but people all over the world suffer, including here in Wales, so to get the word out is pretty special.”
HIV and AIDS can sometimes bring stigma with it and when asked if he was comfortable talking about it he said: “I am, I grew up in South Africa where the disease is well known and that’s perhaps why I am comfortable but that was in the 90s and its more prolific now but I’m pretty happy to talk about it and answer any questions people may have. It’s important and good to give back. A lot of the kids here today haven’t played cricket before, and I’ve heard some of them saying, ‘I’d like to play cricket, it’s quite fun.’ To do little things like this is just pretty awesome, and to giving back to the communities is pretty special.”
Learn more about the THINK WISE initiative at www.icc-cricket.com.
Learn more about Cricket Without Boundaries at www.cwbafrica.com.