Using cricket as more than just a sport in Corfu

Mon, May 28, 2012 7:57 PM

Using cricket as more than just a sport in Corfu
The Ionian Islands Government and the Hellenic Cricket Federation have hailed their annual international youth cricket tournament a huge success and, with the support of the Four Diegos Spirit of Cricket program, are planning for a bigger and better tournament next year.

The Second International Youth Cricket Tournament brought participants from Australia, South Africa, England, Qatar and Bulgaria to share the culture and the natural beauty of the Ionian, experience a different way of life, live their passion for cricket, celebrate cultural diversity and understanding and leave a lasting positive legacy of cricket, sport and healthy lifestyle for the people of Corfu.

Since 2006, Four Diegos Media has developed and implemented national and international values themed school and community resources in partnership with the AFL, Cricket Australia, ICC, Australian Sports Commission, Professional Footballers Australia and Royal Flying Doctors Service Australia.

This renowned T20 youth tournament gives young players a unique opportunity to represent their homeland and also for the Hellenic Cricket Federation to lead the way in educating participants in the concept of the Spirit of Cricket and the values of respect, fair play, diversity and acceptance that it celebrates.

The Hellenic Cricket Federation President, Iosif Nikitas was delighted by the success, in which ICC Regional Development Manager, Nick Pink flew out to visit, "Our vision is the Schools Cricket Tournament to become a worldwide event, schools from around the world to meet every year in Corfu and all together as a unit spend a wonderful week, a week of cricket and spirit of cricket celebration," said Nikitas.

"For us the Schools Cricket Tournament is not just a tournament of playing cricket; it is a tournament based in the spirit of cricket, which means making new bonds of friendships between the participants, respect each other in the field and outside the field and the most important enjoying ourselves though cricket and through the parallel events that takes place during the week of the tournament. We thank the team from Four Diegos Media for their fabulous work with the players and coaches of all the teams," Nikitas concluded.

Christian Trotter coach of the tournament winning Ferntree Gully Association team echoed the president?s sentiments. "For me personally it was such a wonderful experience and the values of the tournament and what Four Diegos Media is instilling in this program hit a real note with me. If we can teach the boys to be the best 'people' they can be then their own sport and lives will be so much greater and so much more rewarding.

"This to me is where sport plays such an important part of kid's lives. Sport is one of the few times where we have kids in an environment they want to be in, so it's crucial we dedicate ourselves to teaching them all the right values that will teach them to be the best 'people' they can be," said Trotter.

For Four Diegos Media, developers and implementers of the innovative Spirit of Cricket program, it was a memorable experience capped off by an award from Hellenic Cricket Federation for its outstanding work during the tournament.

Humbled by the award, Ralph Barba could only speak of the gratitude and respect he has for the coaches and parents of the teams from Australia, South Africa, England, Italy, Greece, Qatar, and Bulgaria.

"The real heroes are the coaches and parents who dedicate their lives to making things better and providing opportunity for the young people in their care. They have such a great responsibility but they accept it without any recognition and thanks", said Ralph.

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