The unprecedented success of the BSP School Kriket Program was in late 2010 recognised by the International Cricket Council as the largest junior participation program in the world and it is little surprise to see the program win the Best Junior Cricket Participation Initiative at the recent ICCEAP Development Programme Awards.
52, 386 school age children from 10 provinces (NCD, Central, Oro, Milne Bay, Madang, New Ireland, West New Britain, Morobe, Eastern and Western Highlands) completed the 12 week program in 2010. Participants came from 123 Schools and selected village, community and charity based clinic locations across the country and Cricket PNG accredited 306 Teachers and other community volunteers as BSP School Kriket coaches.
Brock Schaefer of Cricket PNG said BSP School Kriket has revolutionised school sports in Papua New Guinea. The program is a 5-phase, 12 week program that provides cricket education to students, teachers and parents. "Our BSP School Kriket Staff, who are often former and current PNG National cricketers, focus on teaching the basic skills and rules of cricket as well as the values of teamwork and sportsmanship with which cricket has always been known."
"The response of students, teachers, principals and the wider community to the program has been overwhelmingly positive. With BSP's continued support in 2011 we look forward to bringing another 50, 000 students through the program and are excited to be expanding to an additional 5 provinces.
As part of the program Cricket PNG also focuses on engaging those members of the community outside the mainstream education system. A highlight of this engagement was a series of clinics held at the 'LGL New Life Skills Training Centre' in Central Province. Former Australian Test cricketers Terry Alderman, Rodney Hogg and Andy Bichel attended one of these clinics. Cricket PNG also ran a BSP 'World Aids Day' Supa Kriket Clinic at Amini Park on December 1st 2010 for over 500 Port Moresby school students which was attended by cricket great Muttiah Muralidaran.
In 2011, Cricket PNG and BSP hope to further engage sections of the community who are unable to access the mainstream school system as part of the BSP School Kriket Program. The BSP School Kriket program is now a finalist in the International Cricket Council Global Development Awards to be announced in March.
BSP commended PNG Cricket for their professionalism and enthusiasm in terms of this cricket development program. Chief Executive Officer Ian B Clyne said BSP is proud to support the development of cricket in PNG, and would continue to support the initiative. Clyne said BSP is a bank that "believes in making a difference" and this is evident in the many major sponsorships of sports and community programs aimed at the children and youth of PNG, and the Pacific.
BSP bowled in K750, 000 for the "School Kriket" program. The sponsorship signed last March 19, 2010is worth K250, 000 annually until 2012. "It is BSP's hope that more young talents, especially from the nontraditional cricket areas will soon be discovered, and will lead to PNG becoming a regional powerhouse in cricket within the next 5 - 10 years," Clyne said.