Ululations and clapping reverberated through the walls of Impendulo Primary School hall in Khayelitsha when the Gary Kirsten (GK) Foundation officially announced that 13 of their players would jet off to the UK to watch matches at the Cricket World Cup which started last week.
On Friday May 31, parents, teachers, representatives of the Gary Kirsten Foundation and other distinguished guests gathered at the school to bid farewell to the boys in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.
The world cup finishes on Sunday July 14 and the boys are expected to depart this week.
The tour will include attending three Proteas games against Afghanistan in Cardiff, New Zealand in Birmingham and the highly anticipated clash with Pakistan at the home of cricket, Lords.
The tour is jam-packed with activities, giving the children an opportunity to play against top UK schools and meet their Proteas heroes.
The players, coaches and staff at the foundation are set for an-all expenses paid trip to the showpiece which is currently taking place.
The foundation was established in 2014 and aims to develop and mould future cricketers.
Mr Kirsten said the core aim of his foundation was to provide free coaching to hundreds of youngsters , building much needed infrastructure as well up-skilling coaches.
He said the foundation worked with various schools in Khayelitsha and in Fish Hoek – some of which did not have functioning cricket teams when the foundation was started five years ago.
To date, he said, the foundation had supplied five Khayelitsha schools with newly constructed cricket nets, complete kit bags with cricket equipment and a full-time cricket coach.
Mr Kirsten said the foundation hoped to build a multi-purpose sports centre at Chris Hani High school just few metres from this school.
He said in 2015 there were no children playing cricket at Impendulo, Chris Hani, Siphamandla, Masiphumelele and Siviwe primary school.
However, he said now in 2019 there are total of 450 pupils from these schools who had signed up to play cricket since their intervention. He expressed his gratitude to the school and parents for allowing him to coach them cricket and sharpen their minds.
“It is a really exciting opportunity.
“We want to create an opportunity of a lifetime for kids who love and play the sport with so much of passion.
“There is going to be a big buzz in the UK during the World Cup and it will be great for the kids to soak it all in.
“I believe an international trip of this magnitude will also show youngsters what is possible in life and sport,” Mr Kirsten said.
Parent Singathwa Mpi, said she knew nothing about cricket until her son informed her that he was playing the game.
“Now she did her best to support her child, who is the first in their family to travel overseas.
“I feel like crying. I have never been so happy. I pray to God that these children succeed in their careers,” she said. Masizole Mnqasela, speaker in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, encouraged parents to play an active role in supporting their children, whom he described as beacons of hope to many others that nothing was impossible in life.