MCC has today announced its support for a new community development project in South Africa.
The world’s most active cricket-playing club is backing a broad sports development project in a school in Masiphumelele, a township situated 45km from Cape Town. The project will introduce a proper coaching structure, together with the provision of equipment, kit and the construction of three cricket nets.
MCC will contribute £50,000 over a three-year period to help provide opportunities for Ukhanyo Primary School’s 1,800 pupils, who have very limited resources and live in an area of severe deprivation.
The Club has become involved in this initiative following an approach from a member of its World Cricket committee, Vintcent van der Bijl, who is leading the project in Masiphumelele.
Derek Brewer, MCC Chief Executive & Secretary, said: “MCC has an important role in the game at a local, national and international level, and particularly with its Community Development programme which has, over the past ten years, supported several high-quality community projects overseas, for example in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
The Club’s three-year investment can make a very real difference and help to lay the foundations for a sustainable future
"It is essential that any project the Club undertakes has a visionary figurehead and helps to promote the game in areas where it is not straightforward to obtain conventional funding: the Masiphumelele project at Ukhanyo Primary School is a perfect example.
“With Vince van der Bijl providing inspirational leadership, and with his knowledge, dedication and commitment, the Club’s three-year investment can make a very real difference and help to lay the foundations for a sustainable future.
"We very much look forward to working with Vince and everyone involved in this innovative project in the coming years.”
The principal objective of the project is to give pupils of Ukhanyo Primary School access to quality cricket coaching, increased organised school sport, competitive matches and tournaments through full participation and cricket nets. Additionally, cricket will be used as the vehicle to uplift poor and disadvantaged pupils to enhance their confidence and bring out untapped potential.
In delivering this project, MCC will be working with Masicorp, an experienced NGO which has been dedicated to Masiphumelele for over 20 years with its broad vision to uplift those in the community, with projects ranging from pre-school education to entrepreneurial initiatives.
The Club’s three-year financial commitment will goes hand-in-hand with the creation of the MCC MASI 750 Sports Club, a fundraising drive which seeks to match and exceed the MCC investment to ensure ongoing sustainability. Individuals will be asked to donate R100 or R200 (or USD/GBP 10 or 20) per month on an ongoing basis.
It is a really meaningful project in a township stripped bare by unemployment, poverty and overcrowding
MCC World Cricket committee member, Vintcent van der Bijl, said: “MCC has been so strong in their vision and support, particularly Derek Brewer, Mike Brearley and the World Cricket Committee.
"We are deeply grateful and this initiative will inspire youth through sport, allowing learners to reach their potential as sports people and as individuals.
"It is a really meaningful project in a township stripped bare by unemployment, poverty and overcrowding.”
MCC’s commitment to the Masiphumelele project will be enhanced in a number of ways: there will be volunteer opportunities created for MCC Members and staff to spend time at Ukhanyo School; there will be a schools twinning programme for local to Lord's schools in Westminster; cricket equipment will be collected at Lord's for subsequent distribution to Ukhanyo School; and the Club will encourage school, club and professional cricket teams to visit the area when on tour.
Masiphumelele is home to approximately 40,000 residents and is a severely disadvantaged community. Ukhanyo Primary School is the only primary school in the township, and was initially built to accommodate 460 pupils; there are now 1,800 pupils and the level of resources available to the school is minimal.
Whilst cricket remains a popular sport in the area, there are no cricket facilities at Ukhanyo Primary School. Overall participation figures for organised sport in the school are low (12-20%) despite an energetic, dedicated PE teacher.
In addition, the school receives minimal funding for sport from government. There are currently cricket teams in each age group, who practise, of necessity, with tennis balls on the only sports facility, a hard netball court.
To read more about the project click below.
Individual donations to the project can be made below.