Bat for a Chance (BFAC), the cricket charity helping underprivileged children experience the joy of cricket has partnered with the CATCH Trust and Virgin Atlantic Cargo in a new South African cricket partnership for 2023.
BFAC has teamed up with Virgin Atlantic Cargo, as part of a continuing programme of kit donations across the world, scheduled for 2023. The programme kicked off last year in Barbados and Pakistan working with the Roland Butcher Academy in Barbados and the sports charity FemGames led in Pakistan by Ebba Qureshi, a trustee of the charity and the wife of former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood. BFAC is a partner of Sri Lanka’s leading charity, The Foundation of Goodness and Kushil Gunasekera.
The kit donations in South Africa were overseen by The CATCH Trust which has a passion for delivering community cricket-led initiatives. The trust has been supporting the Khayelitsha township in the Western Cape since 2014 and has developed a strategy to bring about gender equality and opportunities for marginalised communities. The CATCH Trust is proud to be working on various projects in the community from net installations and coaching development for the township cricket communities. Whilst also completing the first fully artificial cricket field in a township area in South Africa in 2020.
With the kind support of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, BFAC has delivered 18 bags of equipment thanks to the remarkable generosity of a number of sponsors and partners including IG Index sponsors of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Nium a global Fintech Unicorn business and sponsors of the International Cricket Council, Former Sri Lanka coach Simon Willis’s Fledglings Cricket and Moonwalkr, an Indian based cricket manufacturer.
Phil Wardlaw, Managing Director at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Bat for a Chance to bring our expertise in transporting cargo to such a worthy project. We’re also grateful for the support of our freight forwarding partner, Woodland Group, in supporting this shipment.
At Virgin Atlantic, our purpose is to empower everyone to take on the world and use our business as a force for good, through our communities, our people, and our partners. Partnering with Bat for a Chance means Virgin Atlantic Cargo is able to bring a real opportunity for children to participate in this wonderful sport and experience the joy of cricket, in South Africa and across the world.”
BFAC’s founder and CEO, Will Gaffney, said: “We are so grateful to Virgin Atlantic Cargo, The Woodland Group, CATCH Trust and its General Manager Tim Human for helping us bring this project together. It is a great start to 2023 – a year which will see us bring together corporates and donors in tangible investment into cricket projects in the UK and globally.
“Bat for a Chance has the simple aim of breaking down barriers that prevent people from having access or opportunities to play the wonderful game of cricket. Our partnership will launch at a positive time for South Africa cricket with the start of the South African T20 League and the Women’s ICC Under 19 World Cup due to take place in February.”
Gary Kirsten, Founder of the CATCH Trust (formerly Gary Kirsten Foundation) and former opening batsman for South Africa said: “It is amazing to see how cricket continues to inspire young people to do great things. We are delighted to be teaming up with Will and the team at Bat for a Chance to help make the game accessible to young people. We look forward to building the relationship with the charity and with Virgin Atlantic Cargo, their sponsor.”
Global Ambassador for BFAC, and ICC England 2022 T20 World Cup Winner Chris Jordan added: “It’s great to be teaming up with Gary Kirsten and the team in South Africa, a very proud cricket country and I’m so pleased to be supporting such a great cause at the start of 2023.”
The kit handover took place at the Gary Kirsten Centre of Cricket Excellence (Artificial field and Indoor Cricket Centre) at Chris Hani Secondary School in Khayelitsha on January 20th 2023.