Coastal Junior Cricket Festival

The 23rd Edition of the Walvis Bay Salt Refiners Coastal Junior Cricket Festival started and will continue until Friday 23 August.

This prestigious cricket festival started in 1996 under the Welwitschia Schools Academy and was called the Inter-school Cricket Championships. The event was established by cricket enthusiasts being the late Mr Chucky Dobson who passed away in 2010, Mrs Greta Holst and Mr Ian van der Walt.
Trophies were sponsored by Hickory Creek Spur at that stage. During 2000, with the departure of Mr Ian van der Walt, Mr Eugene van der Walt took over and the tournament became known as the Hickory Creek Spur Inter school Cricket tournament. Spur continued their sponsorship until 2009. During 2001 the Spur Group expanded their sponsorship to include medals, trophies, umpires, and scorers’ T-shirts.
Paradise Beverages made soft drinks available to players. Although cricket at school level was managed by the NSSU, the Namibia Cricket Board started to acknowledge this tournament and assisted by sponsoring match balls with the assistance of ICCACA.
The further success of this event can also be laid at the feet of cricket personalities including Otto Mack and John Heynes. These gentlemen organized this festival, as the enrollment of teams and players increased over the years. The tournament became a regular feature on the Namibian School Calendars ever since.
This festival also won the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s development awards for best junior cricket promotional program-development initiative during 2003 and 2006. At the end of the 2003 tournament, Greta Holst stepped down as main organiser and handed the reigns over to Otto Mack.
For the past three years Mr Mack concentrated on the financial side of the festival while Mr John Heynes took over the organising department.
During 2010 the Walvis Bay offices of Spar and FNB Namibia got involved with sponsorship. During 2014 Walvis Bay Salt Refiners took over the sponsorship and became the new “partner” of the cricket festival which is now known as the Walvis Bay Salt Refiners Junior Cricket Festival.
For many years this event has given the players great pleasure and allowed them to develop their skills and love for the game. The founders, organisers and sponsors overs the years should be delighted that so many Namibian senior cricket players actually played their first ever cricket matches as juniors at this festival. As a matter of interest 11 members of the Namibian U19 squad that participated in the 2016 & 2019 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Tournaments Bangladesh and New Zealand played in this festival.
This festival’s main focus is on cricket development and the promotion of the game. This year’s event is once again dedicated to all junior school cricketers. We believe that all players, coaches, managers and supporters will enjoy this year’s event.
We trust long – lasting memories will be created; new friendship will be formed and old ones continued on and off the field of play. Very important is the promoting a positive cricket etiquette and spirit of the game.
Managing Director of Walvis Bay Salt Refiners Andre Snyman said that Walvis Bay Salt Refiners is proud to be associated with the Coastal Junior Cricket Festival for the 6th consecutive year.
Snyman said “Our Company is 56 years old and is the biggest solar sea salt producer in Africa. Over the past few years we have consistently reinvested our profits in the business and in Namibia, and with the completion of our new processing plant our annual production volumes are now nearing 1 million tons of high quality sea salt. Not only is mineral beneficiation one of our key focus areas, but we are also honoured to be involved in the development of young talent through our sponsorship”.
This year we are celebrating the 23rd junior cricket tournament at the coast, and we are proud to confirm that the former South African Women’s National team player Sune van Zyl has agreed to officiate at this year’s event” Snyman added.
“This tournament remains a unique opportunity for every young cricket player. Many players who participated in this tournament progressed through the ranks and later represented Namibia even at senior national level”.
Snyman said “I trust that you will not only enjoy the cricket, but also your stay in our beautiful town this week”.
On behalf of Welwitschia Cricket and Cricket Namibia, I would like to welcome all the teams who are participating in the Walvis Bay Salt Refiners Coastal Junior Cricket Festival 2019. This year will mark the 23rd Edition of the Cricket Festival.
Operations Manager – Cricket Namibia John Heynes said “My wish is that this year’s festival will also be played in good spirit and that it will give all the cricketers and coaches the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming school cricket leagues”.
Heynes added that Welwitschia Cricket and Cricket Namibia wish all the teams the best of luck over the next few days and that the player’s must enjoy the festival both on and off the field and nay fun and enjoyment be the victor all the way through this week.
A special word of thanks must also go to the coaches and managers who have curtailed their holidays in order to be with their teams for this festival, as well as the people behind the scenes who are making sure the grounds and all the officials are ready before the matches start, Heynes said.
He thanked Walvis Bay Salt Refiners, for this wonderful partnership and investment in the youth and future national players.
All games will be played at the sports fields of Walvis Bay Private High School, Walvis Bay Primary School and Jan Wilkens Stadium with the first game to start at 09:00 and the second at 13:00 every day.
The participating schools in the Under 11 and 13 age groups are; Windhoek Curro Gymnasium (WHK GYM), Outjo Development, St Paul’s College, Pro Ed Academy, Walvis Bay Private High School (WBPHS), !Narra Primary School, Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaat Skool (WAP Affies), Gobabis Gymnasium (Gobabis GYM), Walvis Bay Primary School (WBPS), Agri College and NAMSPIRE.

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