MONTEGO BAY, St James — The leadership of Lashings World has promised to continue its support of Jamaican youngsters who want to play cricket.
This was revealed by Scott Charlton, co-owner of the United Kingdom outfit that is known for the plethora of cricket greats who have transitioned from the professional component of the sport, but still play the game.
During a visit to the resort city of Montego Bay last week, members of the group, including Chris Lewis and Peter Lampkin of Intimate Caribbean Holidays, handed out cricket gear and provided other forms of support to several schools in the St James area.
Charlton stressed that the donation will "build the love for the game in the youngsters".
"As a cricket-loving nation in England, recognising cricket is always best when the West Indies are in the mix...we are doing as much as we can to support the youngsters to love the game as they did a generation or two ago," he told the Jamaica Observer West.
During one of the presentations at the Sea Gardens Hotel in Montego Bay last week Wednesday, Lashings World provided three schools — St James High, Cornwall College, and Herbert Morrison Technical — with kit bags that Charlton described as "providing students with the ability of just putting them down and starting a game of cricket".
A day earlier, the group had gifted the Green Pond High School with cricket gear.
The kits provided included bats, pads, stumps, helmets, protectors, and other forms of equipment that he said were valued at about "a thousand pounds at least".
"A kit bag like the one we gave out today was really almost like, it was a gesture to say this is our intention, to say that this is the beginning of our journey with you," he explained.
Charlton noted that he was pleased with what he and members of his party had seen during their one-week stay in Montego Bay.
"It's been lovely to be here and the passion is still here for the game. We watched a game at Green Pond High and it was fantastic to see the lovely game with the players in the first game of the season. Cricket is here and we need to get the kids playing it," he argued.
However, despite making the presentations and watching some cricket being played, he explained that the visit has provided some insight into the needs of the children, and "this is what we will be working on".
"I think it's a case of connecting the pieces and I'm really hopeful that our next visit, which I anticipate will be later this year, September, possibly into November, we'll come for another week and I would love to see that time we come over with two or three of our players and we can go around and do some coaching because that's the next step that's missing from what I've witnessed there," he explained.
He pointed out that his team will be using their influence in the UK to raise funds needed to carry out the support, including donations of more cricket gear in an effort to assist Jamaican students with the game.
"Where we need to be is identifying exactly what is needed right now, exactly what they need, not just the bat and the ball but what they physically need that cost so much," he argued.
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