Member of Parliament Ralph Thorne Q.C and chairman of the Red Foundation, Stedson ‘Red Plastic Bag’ Wiltshire have partnered to put on a local celebrity T20 cricket match on Sunday, September 27, all for a good purpose.
During this morning press conference held at Amigos in Dover Christ Church to launch the event, it was revealed that the initiative is intended to raise school supplies for children in Christ Church South and other constituencies across this country. Through the back-to-school drive, Thorne and Wiltshire are asking the public to donate supplies such as composition notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, backpacks and all other items for the children.
The upcoming event which was organised with the assistance of community activist Adrian Donovan promises to be a family affair and starts off at 3 p.m. with a celebrity road tennis and basketball match.
MC and local entertainer Alf Padmore, while making friendly banter about who will win during this morning’s press conference, also announced that Eric “Queen” Lewis will be in attendance and that the winners of the road tennis and basketball competitions will receive a complimentary day pass from Amigos restaurant.
The main T20 match is scheduled to commence at 6:30 p.m with Thorne’s 11 against Wiltshire’s team. The toss will be spun at 5:30 p.m. under the supervision of umpires MP Adrian ‘Medic’ Forde and Patrick Newton.
There are 16 players each drafted for the match with several big names in cricket including former Barbados and West Indies fast bowler Tino Best who was part of the press conference.
Thorne’s squad will comprise the likes of Dwayne Smith, MP Dwight Sutherland, Ashley Nurse, Kyle Mayers, Emmerson Trotman, Barry Wilkinson and former Barbados footballer Anthony ‘Daisy’ Clarke.
Meanwhile, the Wiltshire team is expected to field players such as Ian Webster, Ian Bradshaw, Derrick Bishop, Ulric Batson, Jamar Griffith, Akeem Dewar and Robin Parris to name a few.
Wiltshire, a Cultural ambassador and a ten-time calypso monarch, said as patrons of the Red Foundation which does a lot of work in the communities across the country including mentorship programs, their mission is to lend support to those in the community that may be less fortunate.
“We have this motto that it takes a village and under this umbrella, we have something called the bag program which is designed to help children with school materials like backpacks, books and all the tools that they would need to go back into school.
“Indeed it is a pleasure for the Red Foundation to partner with Mr Thorne for this Christ Church project. We know that these are tough times, COVID 19 has had a devastating impact on the world and here in Barbados as you know we are very resilient as a people and this level of support we are asking from you, would show clearly who we are as a people. We are loving, caring and we are our brother’s keeper,” Wiltshire said.
Thorne who is the constituency representative for Christ Church South, promised that it would be a gathering of outstanding Barbadians that included current and former Barbados and West Indies cricketers.
The parliamentarian and attorney-at-law noted the initiative was all about uplifting Barbadian communities in the midst of economic challenges being faced because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Cricket is really the vehicle for what we are doing here. This is about uplifting the community, this is about the Barbadian spirit at work in the midst of a crisis that is not only a health crisis but a crisis that is an economic and financial crisis for a lot of Barbadians. With our characteristic pride, a lot of us would suffer in silence.
“Stedson referred to the motto that it takes a village and we are being a part of that village that is volunteering our time, efforts and our money to uplift the Barbadian community, uplift children in this country who may well go to school without pencil, book, sometimes without breakfast,” Thorne said.
He added: “We have to face the reality that a lot of teachers are taking breakfast to school to feed their children and our village cultural ambassador Wiltshire will not sit by while our children are suffering.”
Unicef is also on board the initiative.