Digicel’s surprise visit by Bishoo wows Berbice students
By Avenash Ramzan
Berbice High School students erupted in applause on Monday morning when Digicel Brand Ambassador, Devendra Bishoo, paid a surprise visit to the school as part of the Digicel Youth Series.
The Guyana and West Indies leg-spinner, who hails from Albion, Berbice, was greeted by a packed auditorium in the midst of the usual Monday morning assembly, accompanied by officials of Digicel Guyana, Public Relations Officer Vidya Bijlall- Sanichara and Marketing Executive Jason Lampley.
The Digicel Youth Series is an initiative in partnership with the Hero Caribbean Premier League (Hero CPL) whereby high schools across six Caribbean countries will have the opportunity to participate in a coaching session with Hero CPL coaches and players.
One registered high school in Guyana will be announced as the winner of the coaching session, which will be organised by Digicel and the Hero CPL in June/July. The general public will also be allowed to vote for the school that they deem to be most deserving of the coaching session. To vote persons can use this link: www.digicelguyana.com/cplyouthseries.
As the Digicel Brand Ambassador and one of the Guyana Amazon Warriors players selected for the 2018 Hero CPL, Digicel Guyana used the opportunity to have Bishoo kickstart the local promotion, and according to Bijlall-Sanichara, it was a “fantastic” event that was well received by the students.
“He is a celebrity and he was an even bigger celebrity (today) because he’s from Berbice, and that’s one of the reasons we chose a school in Berbice. We know it’s not his alma mater, but it’s Berbice High so we tried to get a central school where there is a wide cross section of students, so that’s why we chose Berbice High in particular,” Bijlall- Sanichara noted.
“It was a wonderful event; he got to interact with a lot of the students. They didn’t want to let him go; we literally had to peel them away from him.”
Bijlall- Sanichara added that this is just the initial stage of the Digicel Youth Series, pointing out what schools need to do in order to qualify for the coaching session.
“The second phase is where the voting comes in, where students or anyone for that matter can vote for their schools. Sixty students from that school (the school with the most votes) will be lucky enough to meet, participate and hang out with coaches and top CPL cricketers at a venue to be announced later,” Bijlall- Sanichara explained.
She continued, “This is all in keeping with our CPL mandate across the region. In all local markets where there are Brand Ambassadors or local players they’re going to be visiting high schools for surprise visits, just like the one we had today at Berbice High with Bishoo.”
Over 400 students across the region will participate in this year’s programme, a significant increase from last year’s numbers.
CEO of Digicel Guyana, Gregory Dean, said, “Youth engagement is a big focus for Digicel, and with this programme we believe that schools all across Guyana will jump in on the opportunity to win that coaching session for their school. We figured the best way to kick off this series is with a surprise visit to the school and we are happy that the students of the Berbice High School were overjoyed with this visit. The students at the school were thrilled and had lots of questions for Devendra Bishoo. Of course, we now need them to channel that excitement into spreading the word and voting for their school.”
Apart from signing and distributing Digicel caps, Bishoo had some words of advice for the young students, all of whom displayed love and appreciation for the 32-year-old.
“Don’t let anyone tell you your dream is too big for you. Don’t let anyone tell you that, not your friends, not your family, not your teachers. Aim high, follow your dreams and work hard. Whatever you work for you will get it. If you’re determined enough to get it and be discipline in life you will get it. So don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish something,” Bishoo told the students.
Even after the official programme had ended, students were still seizing the moment to have a photo with the 2011 ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year.
One of the students, Faith Gajadhar, who delivered the vote of thanks, said, “Today meant a lot, I personally have never met a cricketer before and it was a great opportunity for me and my school. I really liked how he encouraged students to live up to their dreams and don’t fall back no matter what people say.”
In 28 Test matches, Bishoo has picked up 102 wickets at 36.01 with a best of 8-49 against Pakistan. In 28 ODIs, he has 31 wickets at 36.25 with a best of 3-30.
Currently in his 10th season of First-Class cricket for Guyana, Bishoo has 366 wickets from 91 games at an average of 27.87 and career-best figures of 9-78. He also has 102 wickets in 67 List A games.