It would not be an overstatement to suggest that the Kent Cricket Club (KCC) is gradually claiming the title of the pride of Sierra Leone cricket, because of its persistent drive in developing club cricket by using a novel approach that is in line with current international trends in sports administration.
Of late, the club has gained admiration from partners across the world for its structural policy of youth development and its pattern of running the day-to-day affairs of the sport in a country were cricket is less appreciated. With support from international donors, passionate fans and the national cricket association, the KCC board has worked hard to promote their prestigious brand in the right manner.
That is the reason why KCC is getting continual support from people who are not only followers of cricket, but also those who believe in developing the sport in Africa for the future generation.
Having expressed his admiration for KCC, Australian-based philanthropist Michael Pawley recently donated a generous quantity of cricket items to the club, consisting of different jerseys for all age levels, batting pads, bats, gloves, sweaters, tracksuits and other assorted equipment.
In a statement sent to the KCC board via email, Pawley lauded the club for its relentless efforts in ensuring that the game is run in accordance with professional standards. “I’m impressed with the organisation and the players at Kent Cricket Club. I wish you success and joy of playing cricket this season and in the future”, he wrote.
The 74-year-old philanthropist reiterated his support for the development of cricket in Sierra Leone, adding that he would be sending more equipment in March. He added, “My focus is Kent Cricket Club, but the items I sent will as well serve other purposes, particularly with reference to school and women’s cricket, which are equally important for the growth of the sport.”
“If you don’t have a good foundation of young cricketers, you will not be able to produce a good cricket team. And that’s the fact I like about KCC, because youth development is their major priority, and I stand with them and will always support them”, Pawley emphasised.
Pawley, who played elite cricket in New South Wales in his active playing career, has been a mathematics teacher with a B.Sc. Diploma in Education, in addition to being a professional cricket coach. His philanthropic gestures do not stop at donation of cricket items, as he has also been helping greatly in the educational aspect as a partner of a rural village school in Cambodia.
Due to his consistent work of supporting needy people, Pawley has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal for Charity Work (OAM). Receiving the items on behalf of KCC, the club’s Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Pessima, not only thanked Pawley for the gesture, but alluded that the donation is of great value to KCC and the Sierra Leone Cricket Association (SLCA).
The CEO stressed that equipment is an essential resource for cricket development. He said such donations provide great opportunities to young cricketers to play the game. “School cricket is an essential component at grassroots level. That is where we all started, we excelled and went as far as playing senior and national cricket”, Pessima said.
“This cricket gear will help us towards discovering the unknown talents who might become the next set of national players for the country. By all indications, KCC is the direct beneficiary, but its impact will be reflected at all levels, as we will be presenting some of these items to schools and other junior cricket clubs”, he added.
Pessima expressed gratitude to Michael Pawley, stating that he is a true philanthropist with a great interest in helping to promote the development of the Kent Cricket Club through such acts of generosity. He said that the club would be more than happy to receive more equipment in the near future, and that it would be ensured that it is used for the intended purposes.
Credits: Magdalene Konneh, KCC Media