By Eddie Chikamhi
Zimbabwe cricket captain, Elton Chigumbura and Ryan Burl, has become an ambassador for an international organisation whose all-star envoys include the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
Chigumbura has been appointed ambassador for international children charity organisation, Street Child United.
Other sporting ambassadors for the organisation include Ferguson, the former Manchester United manager, ex-Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara, English football icon David Beckham, four-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson, ex-India national team captain Sourav Ganguly.
Chigumbura recently retired from international cricket to concentrate on grassroots development with his Elton Chigumbura Academy.
He joins a list of volunteers, and luminaries, who work with Street Child United to tackle the widespread stigma street-connected children face.
The organisation also raise awareness, and understanding of their situation so that they are protected, respected and supported, to realise their full potential in life.
“After playing cricket for my country for many years, I am now dedicated to developing the sport at a grassroots level,’’ said Chigumbura.
“I believe that nurturing talent can have a profound impact, not just in finding the next generation of cricket stars, but by supporting youth — especially those who are vulnerable — to become all-rounders in life! Honoured to be a part of the Street Child United family and supporting their work.”
Street Child United use the power of sport to make a positive change in the lives of children living in the street globally.
“Life on the streets for these children is filled with danger. Instead of receiving support, they are often blamed for their situation and stigmatised.
“As a result, they face violence and abuse. Although they are vulnerable, they are also resourceful and resilient but are denied the opportunities they need to realise their potential,” the organisation said on their brochure.
Another Zimbabwe cricketer, Ryan Burl, has joined Grassroots Cricket to help use the power of cricket to transform young people’s lives in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
He said he was excited with his association with Grassroots Cricket, which is based in Australia.
“As a person, and a player, I feel like I have had a privileged upbringing,’’ said Burl.
“So, it would be an absolute honour to present and help people less fortunate, to have an opportunity to succeed, not only in cricket but in life also, I was able to play a sport I loved with my mates which, unfortunately, some kids do not have that same environment.
“I want to use this opportunity with Grassroots Cricket Charity organisation to be helping those kids.
“To share the game that is full of friendship and enjoyment, as well as help them to a better start at life. I endeavour to be able to allow children to have dreams and ambitions but to also expose them to the joy they can experience after hitting a four, taking a wicket or just playing a game with your friends”.
Grassroots Cricket (Inc) is the brainchild of Australia-based Zimbabwean Tawanda Karasa who recently embarked on a fund-raising campaign Down Under where he is sourcing for cricket kit that he would like to send to this country.
Funds raised by Grassroots Cricket will go towards the provision of sports coaches, life skills and projects, such as assistance with school fees, and community projects, to help provide food on the table for the underprivileged children in Zimbabwe.
Grassroots Cricket are involved in raising funds, and collecting new and second hand cricket gear, for distribution to Africa.
They are also planning Cricket-4-Hope cricket coaching clinics, ahead of Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe, in July.
The clinics will be held in Hatcliffe, Harare and Bulawayo.
The programme will feature Zimbabwe national cricket team captain and Grassroots Cricket Zimbabwe president, Sean Williams. The Herald