Captain of the senior national women’s cricket team, Rhyda Ofori Amanfo has said, that the Obuasi Cricket Festival will be an annual event after a successful maiden edition on Saturday, June 24, 2023.
The Cricket Oval at the KNUST Obuasi campus was filled with thrills, excitement and fun amidst learning as the festival saw over 100 participants.
Rhyda, who gathered resources to put the festival together says, they will take it to other parts of Ashanti region.
“I am extremely happy about how far the program went. We had about 140 kids coming around for the program and it was ok for a start. As time goes on, the numbers will increase. We will organise this annually in the Ashanti Region, as part of developing the game of Cricket. We decided to revive cricket in Obuasi with this event, as I remembered how Cricket was in those days here. This Cricket festival was effectively conducted to complement Cricket in Obuasi (Ashanti Region) with the kind support of Underground Mining Alliance (UMA) Ghana Operations Manager Clinton and Larry Project manager, HR, passionate friends and cricket lovers as well the Ghana Cricket Association (GCA).”
“Players were registered, so we can contact them for training every week and this will keep more kids active. After a while, we will begin the Sunday special here.” She added.
The one-day event organized to revamp and reenergize active cricket in the gold city saw 54 boys and 46 girls registering to participate, while several others, (approximately 30) joined the fun from the football field later.
With the youngest being 6 years and the oldest being 17 years, coaches took participants through the various catching drills, bowling and batting intermittently for 2 hours, before a demonstration match by the coaches and few participants who have ever been introduced to Cricket.
Senior national men’s Cricket team captain, Samson Kwesi Awe Awiah, who was there to support the initiative tells TalksenseSports, the impact on participants was 100%.
“I will say, the impact has been 100% plus, because this hasn’t happened before in Ghana; to have a cricket festival. Actually, I was so surprised and excited when I heard it from the skipper about this organization and so I decided to come and give her the massive support and whatever I have in developing the sport. I want to encourage her to keep it up, because we need more of these to get the kids playing the sport and get the grassroot come alive to secure our future for the sport.”
The children could not keep their eyes off the demonstration game, as Devendra Sain who plays for BGC hits boundary and receives applauses, with many saying, they will play like him in future.
The rains came late and it could only prevent a dancing competition, which had already even started, with some of the kids showing their wonderful dancing skills.
Other female cricket national players; the likes of Rashidatu Salia, Kate Awuah, Miriam Eshun, Cynthia Konadu Ankobea and Ellen Otu Asante helped train the kids. Coaches, like Prince Jula, Peter, Prince Obeng Manu, Dennis Amponsah, Maajah Mohammed were also of great support.
Off course, Ghana Cricket needs more of these programs to get the future secured, while seeking for sponsorships from corporate bodies to keep the game alive in Ghana.
By: Davis Nii Attuquaye Clottey