South African Cricket Captain, Graeme Smith, stayed at Londolozi over the weekend to open our recently constructed cricket net. The top cricketers from Sam Nzima School, in the neighbouring community of Lillydale, were invited to participate in an hour long coaching session with Graeme. Once the captain had cut the ribbon to open the net, the children (and some over enthusiastic Londolozi rangers) were given the opportunity to bowl at one of the world’s premier batsmen. Londolozi is hugely grateful to Graeme for giving of his time in the baking lowveld sun to help us unearth our local talent.
Mo Groch, who heads up the Londolozi Learning Centre, says “the main emphasis of the cricket net is to introduce cricket to children in the communities neighbouring Londolozi. We want to teach educators the game so that they can spark a cricketing interest in the learners at their schools.”
The net is the result of a cricket coaching clinic that Mo and Chris Goodman, Londolozi head ranger, conducted at Sam Nzima School. The response to the new game of cricket was overwhelmingly positive such that Mo and Chris set themselves a goal. Build a cricket net, nurture and develop an interest in cricket and ultimately bring the top cricketers from Sam Nzima to open the Londolozi net with Graeme Smith..
Chris Goodman said, “Cricket was something we chose because a lot of the rangers here have an interest in it and also have the desire to spark other people’s interest in the game. It is a sport that doesn’t have much representation in this area and is really an untapped resource for potential cricketers. To have Graeme Smith, the captain of the South Africa, coach aspirant cricketers was a fantastic way to develop enthusiasm for the game.”
The cricket net was built by Gauteng based, Heyn’s Turf, who came out to lay the foundation and build the net. Londolozi is hugely optimistic that when the sport takes off in the area, other organisations will get involved in the development of future cricketing stars in this corner of the world.
Londolozi’s mission is to ‘create a space and a place where people can be the best versions of themselves’. The cricket net is another step to providing an opportunity where talented young local children can discover an avenue to becoming the best versions of themselves.