The start of the new season brings with it a new sense of optimism and excitement. The 2019/20 Momentum Friendship Games season kicks off with an exciting clash between the Paarl Regional Performance Centre (RPC) and Paarl Gymnasium on Friday.
The T20 action will take place at the Parys Sports Ground in Paarl, with the first ball bowled at 14:00.
The Friendship Games is an important initiative that represents the core values shared by partners, Momentum and Cricket South Africa (CSA). It aims to bridge the gap between communities, while finding and nurturing talent, supporting grassroots cricket and harnessing a culture of true sportsmanship. The campaign consists of nine thrilling contests at under-15 level, with traditional cricketing schools pitted against the promising, previously disadvantaged cricketers that form part of CSA’s respective RPC structures.
“The excitement is reaching fever pitch and the youngsters cannot wait to get out there,” commented David Mokopanele, CSA Mass Participation Manager. “We are now entering the second full season of this brilliant initiative and it has grown from strength to strength. We saw plenty of tight games last season, which highlights the narrowing of the skills and talent gap between the two sets of players.
“That is pleasing to see and we, along with Momentum, will endeavour to ensure the trajectory continues this season,” he added.
Momentum, a fundamental partner in CSA’s development pipeline supporting various properties, including the Schools Weeks, again expressed their commitment to the Friendship Games. Their support stretches beyond the boundary and emphasises the idea that “no child with drive and talent will miss out on opportunities”.
Ahead of the new season, Carel Bosman, Head of Sponsorship and Events at Momentum, said: “We are extremely delighted to be going back on the road for the Momentum Friendship Games. This is a project that is close to our hearts as not only does it offer these players more exposure to quality matches, but it also promotes the value of skills-sharing and brings together youngsters from different backgrounds and playing environments.”
“It also allows for the players to compete in a non-intimidating atmosphere, providing opportunities for new friendships to be forged and a momentum shift in their lives,” Bosman concluded.
This year, the series will once again travel across six provinces between October and March next year, including the Northern Cape, where the Yorkshire RPC overpowered Northern Cape High School to give the RPC teams their only victory last season.
Like last season, both captains will read out the Momentum Pledge at the beginning of each match