Sydney Thunder has been able to support the development of cricket in Sierra Leone thanks to donations from cricket clubs and members across the Thunder Nation.
Working with the Kent Cricket Club in Sierra Leone, Sydney Thunder has provided cricket equipment and playing uniform to help inspire young girls and boys to love cricket.
The Kent Cricket Club, founded by CEO Emmanuel Pessima, has been working to develop and nurture the young cricketers of Sierra Leone.
The club has produced several women’s and men’s cricketers, who have moved onto higher honours with the Sierra Leone national team.
“Through our work not only have we used the sport of cricket to help develop personal traits, which will help them get a job in the future, but we are also a proud club to have been able to be a part of player’s development who have gone on and represented Sierra Leone in the international stage both in the men’s, women's and boy’s categories,” Pessima said.
“We, as a club, are passionate about women's cricket and have been able to provide some of the equipment that the Sierra Leone Women's national team used and was proud to help play our small part during the ICC Women's T20 World Cup qualifier hosted in Zimbabwe in May this year.”
Pessima and the Kent Cricket Club are committed to making a difference to their local community and realise the importance of cricket in bringing people and communities together.
“We feel proud as a club that we have been able to help to provide an educational service to the youth and to help Sierra Leone develop a generation of youngsters who will be able to be the future of the nation,” Pessima said.
The support from Sydney Thunder has enabled the club to increase the scale of their grassroots engagement and helped to remove barriers to participation.
“There is not a cricketing shop in the country or a surplus of cricketing gear so without donations such as this we would be unable to conduct the majority of the work that we do,” stated Pessima.
“Donations are what helps us provide the message we preach and allows us to be able to go into communities and carry on the message to increase participation within cricket. Another goal is to have Sierra Leone constantly challenging within African competitions with the aim of developing into one of the power houses within African cricket.”
According to Abdul Tejan-Cole, Chairman, Kent Cricket Club the support from Sydney Thunder will have ongoing benefits to the local community.
"We are once again delighted to receive a donation of cricket equipment from Sydney Thunder. This equipment is of immense value not only to KCC but to the youth of Sierra Leone in general,” said Tejan-Cole, a former Commissioner of Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission.
“This equipment will contribute immensely to the growing revival of the game in the country. It will also help ensure the spread of the game to many other communities. Deprived kids who would never have dreamt of owning and who could never afford to buy this equipment have now realised their dreams. Women's cricket in Sierra Leone will also be big beneficiary of this generous donation.
“We are grateful to Sydney Thunder for this gesture and convey our warmest appreciation. We now consider ourselves as part of Thunder Nation. We will be rooting for the Sydney Thunder in the next season. We look forward to continuing and building on our relationship"
Sydney Thunder’s work with various African communities extends into the HomeWorld Thunder Nation Cup, with Community Trials taking place on Wednesday 2 October 2019 at Raby Sports Complex.
The HomeWorld Thunder Nation Cup exists to celebrate culture and community through cricket. Sydney Thunder is encouraging individuals (16 years or older) to trial for the African Nations team by attending the free Community Trials.
To register for the free African Nations Thunder Nation Cup trials, please click here.
For more information, please contact Sydney Thunder.
Sydney Thunder is set to open its ninth KFC Big Bash League campaign against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on 17 December, before playing its first game in Sydney on 2 January.
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