All Saints Primary crowned Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ national champions
All Saints Primary emerged the inaugural champions of the Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ Cricket programme 2023, after close and intensely competitive encounters with rival county finalists, St. Lawrence Primary from Essequibo and Enterprise Primary of Demerara.
The three schools took to the playing field of the Police Force Sports Club Ground in Georgetown on March 10, to compete in the Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ Cricket National Festival Finals, in front of their school mates, family, well-wishers and stakeholders.
Among those present were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr.; representatives of the Ministry of Education; Stephen Grell – Managing Director of Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited; Bissoondyal Singh – Director of CWI and President of the Guyana Cricket Board; Dr. Ritesh Tularam – Deputy Chief Education Officer; Deleep Singh- Director of Cricket West Indies and Executive Member of the Guyana Cricket Board; Denise Hobbs – General Manager – Operations of Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited; Jonelle Dummett – Manager – Marketing and Communication of Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited; and Kurt Braithwaite – Acting Administrator of the Unit of Allied Arts.
Also present were Guyana and West Indies players Clyde Butts, Colin Stuart, Reon King, Leon Johnson and Steven Jacobs, who attended the finals to take-in the action and support the junior cricket spectacle.
The Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ programme, created by Republic Bank and Cricket West Indies was launched in Guyana in 2022.
‘Five for Fun’ is a new cricket format designed around the principles of fun, inclusion and equality, and is part of Cricket West Indies’ Future Stars Programme to drive grassroots participation and creating a pathway to international cricket.
The three finalists competed in a round-robin format, playing two games, with each game consisting of 10 overs, with each team batting for five overs. The overall champions were determined by the highest run score of their two combined matches.
Based on the two matches played by each school, All Saints Primary emerged the champions with a combined total run score of 180, as St. Lawrence Primary and Enterprise Primary scored 178 and 171 respectively.
A formal closing ceremony and awards presentation followed the conclusion of the matches, which ensured that all players received programme participation certificates, in addition to medals and trophies for first, second and third place.
Managing Director of Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited – Stephen Grell commented: “Republic Bank is very aware that cricket flows through our veins as Caribbean people and is indigenous to our West Indian culture, especially here in Guyana. We are quite proud to be a part of this growing grassroots cricket initiative which has generated much interest over the past weeks and months, as we’ve witnessed passion, dedication and determination from over 1,000 boys and girls from 75 primary schools across Guyana’s three counties.”
This, he highlighted, is a clear indication of the magnitude of the ‘Five for Fun’ programme, which seeks to drive participation with inclusivity and equality.
Grell continued: “We are particularly proud of the regional partnership between Republic Bank and Cricket West Indies, in collaboration with the Guyana Cricket Board, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports who have all come together to ensure that the first Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ in Guyana was executed to highest of standards.”
He opined that from the cricket skills on display in the final, it was obvious that the teams were well prepared and trained. The Managing Director further lauded the coaches, teachers and parents across the country, who made the cricket concept a reality, through their participation and commitment.
“As the 2023 Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ programme has excelled and exceeded our expectations, we look forward to the 2024 edition to be bigger and better, to positively impact the sport and the development of our children. This has truly been a big win for Guyana and the game of cricket,” Grell said.
CWI Director and GCB President, Bissoondyal Singh said the programme is an important and positive restart to foundation cricket in Guyana.
He said the exceptional participation and stakeholder collaboration fit into the local and regional strategic cricket pathway development to ensure player progression.
“With over 1,100 youth cricketers involved – both boys and girls, supported by over 45 committed coaches and coordinating staff, almost 1,600 coaching sessions completed, and over 390 soft ball cricket matches contested, leading up to this important moment that is the Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ Cricket National Festival Finals – we are extremely proud as CWI and the GCB, on what has been collectively accomplished in collaboration with our local private and government stakeholders, to reignite and support cricket in our primary schools across Guyana.
Singh added that CWI and GCB stand committed to this important grassroots programme in Guyana, and will work with all stakeholders to review and improve the programme, ensuring its expansion in 2024, and sustainability well into the future.
The formal closing ceremony and awards presentation segment of the Republic Bank ‘Five for Fun’ Cricket National Festival Finals was moderated by John Ramsingh, journalist and cricket enthusiast.