Scotiabank has an extra special reason to celebrate the West Indies Under-19 team’s historic victory at the recent ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Several members of the team who took the region to its first ever title at this level are alumni of Scotiabank’s Kiddy Cricket programme which the bank has sponsored for the last 16 years. Barbadian all-rounder Shamar Springer, Grenadian medium pacer Ryan John and Vincentian batsman Gidron Pope all started out in the programme, which provides after-school coaching to primary school cricketers around the region.
“We are very proud of the under-19 team, and particularly the former Scotiabank Kiddy Cricketers who have come of age and are showcasing the benefits of a strong foundation. They showed grace under pressure and a desire to win that was truly inspiring,” said regional marketing director Heather Goldson.
K.J. Singh, the West Indies Cricket Board’s senior project officer for schools cricket, noted that the team was part of the first generation to have been able to go all the way through the youth cricket structure, starting with the foundation of Kiddy Cricket.
Goldson added: “This is 16 years that we have been sponsoring Kiddy Cricket and just as the programme is coming of age, so are the cricketers who have come out of it. In the past few years, the trickle of Kiddy Cricket alumni who have gone on to represent the West Indies has become a steady stream.
“We’ve seen Jermaine Blackwood, Darren Bravo, Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope, Kraigg Brathwaite and Kemar Roach on the Test team, Shaquana Quintyne and Hayley Matthews on the women’s team and our trio on the Under-19 team. It’s gratifying to see and know that Scotiabank has helped to grow the sport in the West Indies.”
Over the last 16 years, nearly a million Caribbean children at over 700 primary schools have received their first formal training in the basic skills and techniques of cricket through Kiddy Cricket’s after-school coaching programme.
Scotiabank is the longest-serving current sponsor of West Indies cricket.