February 27 will go down in the sporting history books of Hyacinth Primary School, in Lentegeur, as one of the special days.
It was, after all, on this day – when a large group of former, current and budding cricketers,, teachers and community members gathered at the school for the unveiling of its brand new cricket facilities.
The facilities include a pitch, nets and irrigation systems, among others.
This state-of-the-art facility was made possible by the JP21 Foundation, the school’s SGB and ordinary members of the community.
Renate Rhode, the school’s cricket co-ordinator described the occasion as the result of five years’ hard work.
“It all started way back in 2014/15. The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) required us to have extra-curricular activities and, as a result, I was nominated at the school to represent cricket. After a meeting, we were introduced to the JP21 Foundation and, currently, our school has been part of the programme for five or six years,” she said.
Rhode also noted that the school’s cricket programme has, over the years, developed from mini cricket, where they started with the under-7, under-8 and under-9 age groups.
“Now in 2020 we have the age groups seven, eight, nine, under-10 hard ball, under-12, under-13 and under-14 boys’ and girls’ teams. Some of our learners have gone to high school and are playing for Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein cricket clubs,” she said.
The school’s cricket teams have been playing their matches at Westridge Oval as well as in other schools in Mitchell’s Plain.
“Now in the 2019/2020 season, we were fortunate enought to qualify to receive a cricket pitch from the foundation, which today February 27, will be launched and officially opened.
The foundation together with PPC paid for the pitch itself and installation and everything. Our SGB, the school’s management and parents have supported with the irrigation system and further development for our field,” she said.
Former Proteas batsman and JP21 founder, JP Duminy said the foundation, which has been in existence for five years now, wanted to revive cricket in Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein.
“Before we came on board, only four schools were playing cricket. Now, five years later, 38 schools are playing cricket. So we are dealing with over 2000 kids a week in our league programme. It is a real success story to see the kids playing WP cricket and getting bursaries.
We are supper-chuffed by what we’ve achieved. Five years is a great opportunity for us to relook at ourselves and look at what the future holds for us. We want to make sure we get every school on board and hopefully see the next Protea community out of this community,” he said.
JP21’s project manager Jamaine Cloete has overseen most of their projects for the past five years – he has been one of their most hands-on, go to, guys.
He knows the project inside-out and outside-in.
“Today marks a very special occassion for us, and the investment (on the facilities) has been an incredible one, not just from one particular source. It was through commitment from people on the streets, international people, local donors and private businesses. They’ve all come together to make today possible,” he said.