JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa (CSA) and KFC concluded the 2022/23 KFC Mini-Cricket season journeying back to the grassroots with the final community festival held at the Soweto Cricket Oval (Elkar) in Soweto on Saturday.

‘Back to our Roots” was the theme of this season’s close out campaign. The theme recognises the significance of Soweto as the base from which the Mini-Cricket programme was kick-started in 1982, which went on to spread throughout the country.

The Soweto Cricket Oval KFC Mini-Cricket community festival followed community festivals that were held across the country in the last three months. These celebrated the success of the programme 40 years on, acclaiming its impact through stories of mini-cricket alumni and current participants including players, volunteer coaches and administrators who have made the programme a success.

CSA, KFC, Proteas Men and Women, SA U19 alumni and cricket legends attended the festival which saw the mini-cricketers of 6 – 13 years old taking part in multiple fun-filled Mini-Cricket matches against the legends.

Six surrounding primary schools from Soweto with over 400 kids were in attendance;

Dr Mary Malahlela Primary School, Lodirile Primary, Samuel Mangala Primary, Senyamo Primary, St Angelas Primary and Thabang Primary.

Attendees included legends of the game and the programme at large. Harmony Tshinga, Johnson Mafa were joined by KFC Mini Cricket Coach of the year 2022, Ntate Jerry Thulo, and people who made an indelible contribution to the programme with coaches such as Vezi Phetheni and Tholang Hlalelele in attendance.

CSA Chief Executive, Pholetsi Moseki commented on the programme’s success this season; “One of CSA’s strategic objectives is providing opportunities for all those who want to play the game, and throughout the years, the mini-cricket programme has managed to uphold those objectives.

“CSA prides itself for nurturing the Mini-Cricket programme that today, tells success stories 40 years on. Our hope is to continue cradling these future stars and citizens to be the best versions of themselves, who can go and represent the game at all levels.

“The KFC Mini-Cricket programme has in many ways changed lives and livelihoods in communities and re-engineered their social fabric. Its impact has many layers, which all point out to a vibrant citizenry, revelling in the beautiful game of cricket.

“I thank KFC for journeying with us throughout the years as we sought to make cricket accessible to all demographics. This partnership has assured us of stars of today, and will keep cultivation buddying stars of tomorrow,” said Moseki.

Andra Nel, KFC Marketing Manager Brand and Purpose, praised all involved in the 2022/23 KFC Mini-Cricket season; “Today’s community festival was a resounding success and a perfect way to end an exceptional cricket season. The match between the KFC Mini-Cricket kids and cricket legends, embers of the media as well as Cricket SA and KFC representatives proved that the programme is much more than simply providing sports coaching. It is about shaping future community members, role models and leaders and most importantly levelling the playing field.

“We are proud of our involvement in KFC Mini-Cricket and how it has impacted the lives of many of the South African youth. Our heartfelt thank you goes to the behind-the-scenes educators, coaches, administrators and members of the public who put an enormous amount of time into driving the programme forward and ensuring it is a bucket load of good.”

Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications

Cricket South Africa (CSA), an affiliate of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), is the national governing body for the sport of cricket in South Africa and administers all aspects of South African cricket, men, and women, both in the professional and amateur spheres.