Primary school in Khayelitsha producing good cricket players

Gcakasi showing a young cricketer how its done. Photos: Mzi Velapi.

Impendulo primary school in Khayelitsha, with the help of funders is already seeing the fruits of promoting and getting learners to play cricket.

Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

The primary school in Makhaza, Khayelitsha has seen the results of taking cricket seriously. Two learners at the school have been offered scholarships to be part of the prestigious Newlands Cricket School in Cape Town. According to Ronnie Gcakasi, a teacher at the school, they started with cricket in 1996. The school was established in 1994. “We started as mini cricket and today we have 3 divisions, under 11, under 13 as well as mini cricket for the young ones,” said Gcakasi who is the mini cricket coach at the school.
The Amy Biehl Foundation donated the construction of cricket facilities at the school in the form of a concrete slab that works as a pitch and wickets.  The school was allocated a cricket coach by Western Province Cricket. “Recently we have installed and received cricket nets from the Gary Kirsten Foundation,” said Gcakasi.

Coach Thulani Masuku taking the bowlers through their paces.

Most schools in Khayelitsha appear to get basic resources from corporates or donors. There are few resources that the schools get from the government’s Department of Education or Sports. This dictates who gets what and leaves schools and children at the mercy of corporates. This has a negative effect on schools in the rural areas and small towns as corporates focus on urban schools in the big cities.  “The issue of lack of support from the government is a problem. For example we once got 1 baseball bat and 2 balls from the government. At one stage they sent us cricket kits for adults while we are a primary school,” lamented Gcakasi.

Under 11 player practicing on the donated concrete slab.

The school principal Vusumzi Gantsho says that they  are willing to share their resources with the schools in the community. “Chris Hani High School do their fielding practice at our school because we have a sports field and they don’t,” added Gcakasi.

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The facilities at Impendulo are basic but the school has to compete with rich former model C schools.  “Our boys always do their best whether were are play against rich schools in the suburbs where they have electronic scoreboards or playing against other township schools,” said Gcakasi.

Bukhobakhe Masumpa practicing his bowling.

The school has a level 2 cricket coach who was sent by the Western Province body. Thulani Masuku says that his mission was to promote and develop cricket at the school and in Khayelitsha. “I came to the school 3 years ago and in this short space of time, I have seen the learners developing interest in the sport,” said the Port Shepstone native.  Masuku is one of the cricket coaches who was sent by  Western Province. Other schools  in the area that have cricket coaches are Chris Hani and Siphamandla High.

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