Social seminars, financial assistance for Berbice cricketers, clubs

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The outstanding work of the Hilbert Foster-led Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) would receive a massive boost when the second edition of the BCB Patron Fund is launched in November.

BCB Patron, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat, and President Hilbert Foster are expected to launch the Fund during a special social skills seminar for youth cricketers at the New Amsterdam Secondary School on November 6.

Minister Bharrat was last year inducted as the first-ever Honourary Patron of the board and hosted the first edition of the Patron Fund.

A total of 13 youth players received $200,000 worth of cricket gear, while the Board’s Cricket Development Programme received $1 million under the 2020 edition.

The Patron recently committed $2 million for the Fund in 2021 as he congratulated Foster on the outstanding work of the Board, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the 2021 edition, the 11 First Division clubs in the county would receive $100,000 worth of white balls for the upcoming season.

Foster stated that the combined $1.1 million worth of balls would assist the clubs a great deal as the cost of balls has increased significantly during the pandemic.

The beneficiaries are West Berbice, Blairmont, Police, Tucber Park, Rose Hall Canje, Young Warriors, Albion, Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, Port Mourant, Skeldon and Upper Corentyne.

The BCB has plans to host at least five tournaments at the senior level whenever the National Task Force grants permission for a restart at the T20, 40-over, 100 balls, 50-over and Two-day levels.

Distribution of the balls would be done in late November, while $400,000 would be invested into the Patron’s Educational Grant programme.

Twenty junior players would receive a grant of $20,000 to assist them to obtain educational materials for school. Foster and his executives have invested heavily in the education of youths with hundreds of junior players receiving grants to assist their pursuit of an academic background.

Each cricketer would receive a voucher to uplift the items from a popular stationery store.

The final part of the 2021 Patron Fund would be the hosting of four social skills seminar across the county.

The seminars are the brainchild of Minister Bharrat and would be held in the four sub associations of West Berbice, New Amsterdam/Canje, Lower Corentyne and Upper Corentyne.

Each of the seminars would involve 40 Under-19 players and would be conducted by graduates of the University of Guyana Social Work class.

Among the topics to be covered would be table manners, public speaking, drugs abuse, suicide, peer pressure, personal manners, how to handle finances and the importance of discipline, education and religion.

The BCB Patron and President both agreed on the importance of the county producing not just outstanding cricketers, but also all round individuals who would be sports ambassadors.

Foster has also indicated that all players selected to represent the county in the future would also have to be involved in these sessions as part of the BCB comprehensive development programme.

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