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Sport Development Initiatives

The Young Warriors Cricket Programme

South Africa has produced many great cricketers, a significant number of whom have come from the Eastern Cape, a province with a rich history of cricket.  It is thus fitting that one of the largest cricket research groups in the world is housed within the Department of Human Kinetics and Ergonomics (HKE) at Rhodes University. The HKE Cricket Research Group is founded on the Department of Sport and Recreation’s vision: “From Grassroots to Protea” and works with international teams including the Proteas, Hobart Hurricanes and the Kolkata Knight Riders, as well as local school teams. Kingswood College, a private school in Makhanda, has some of the best cricket coaches and coaching facilities in the city, and in fact the country, and has been working closely with the HKE Cricket Research Group for several years.

In the collaborative project envisaged below, the research group would like to extend their work to the broader community, working with other schools and stakeholders, including Rhodes University’s Community Engagement (RUCE) Division, to develop the game more widely within the Makhanda area. Working with the community, the programme will enable aspiring young people from low income backgrounds (who would otherwise be denied the opportunity) to pursue their dreams of becoming professional cricketers, whilst at the same time promoting physical activity and its many health and other benefits for a wider group of youth and adolescents.

Engaged research and service learning taking place alongside the schools programme will enable the HKE Cricket Research Group to broaden their research from the elite to the developmental level of cricket. This will serve the long-term goal of developing a model with a robust evidence base that can be replicated and scaled up within the Eastern Cape and indeed the country. 


The Young Warriors Cricket Programme, using a collaborative, community engagement approach, aims to use cricket development as a vehicle to:

  • widen access to opportunities for young people who have the talent and aspiration to become professional cricketers; and
  • promote the holistic well-being benefits of physical activity amongst young people more broadly


  • Enabling access to quality cricket coaching and facilities; and
  • generating research that feeds into the design and implementation of the programme, as well as building an evidence base for the development of a replicable model.


The project is designed around five mutually reinforcing focus areas:

  • Player development – Providing opportunities for youth and adolescents from less well-resourced communities to participate in cricketing activities, for the health benefits of physical activity as well as the identification and development of talented young cricketers.
  • Coach development – Providing aspirant coaches with the opportunity to participate in a structured coaching and mentoring programme which will enable them to develop technical and practical skills as well as broader life skills. This will be done in collaboration with the Gary Kirsten Foundation and CoachEd Coaching Education and Accreditation programme.
  • Engaged research – Generating research that will feed into the implementation, monitoring and continuous improvement of the programme and will build an evidence base for the development of a model that can be replicated and taken to scale. This will reside with the HKE Department at Rhodes University.
  • Facilities & equipment – Providing access to high quality cricket facilities, equipment and coaching through improved use and opening up of existing facilities, as well as the development of new facilities.
  • Student development – Enriching the educational experience of school and university students through involving them in service learning, with skills and self-development opportunities.


Young Warriors Cricket Programme

Last Modified: Tue, 15 Aug 2023 12:01:34 SAST