A total of 382 teams from communities across the island are competing for $4 million in cash and prizes in the 2012 staging of the Social Development Commission’s (SDC) 20/20 Community Cricket Competition.
The tournament began on April 7 with the preliminary rounds, and the teams which compete at the parish and regional levels over five months, with the final two teams to vie for top honours on August 26 at the Alpart Sports Club in St. Elizabeth.
Speaking at the official launch held on Thursday (May 24) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, said he fully supports the SDC’s efforts to infuse sports as the vehicle to build and maintain stronger community organisations.
“This (competition) will no doubt engage communities in the broader national development process. We all know that times are difficult but what has kept us together as a community is the love of sports, which is part of the fabric of our society,” he stated.
Minister Arscott said he anticipates a massive turnout for the semi-finals in St. Ann and the national finals in St. Elizabeth.
He commended the sponsors for investing in the competition, which he said, will help to build true community spirit at a time when the country celebrates its 50th anniversary of Independence.
“With your assistance, the competition will continue to be successful and we urge other stakeholders to come on board, because I know that you do not want to miss out on the SDC’s cricket train,” he said.
Giving an overview of the project, Acting Executive Director of the SDC, Dr. Dwayne Vernon, said the national champion will earn $1 million, increased from $750,000, while the runner-up team will receive $600,000; and $300,000 for the third place team.
The parish winners will get $100,000 including a trophy, while $60,000 will be presented to the parish runner-up; $30,000 to the third place team; and $15,000 for fourth place.
Team players, on reaching the semi-final stage of the competition, are required to work to develop a community project that will be financed by a minimum of 10 per cent of winnings from the competition. The amount will be deducted at the time of the handing over of the prize money.
“So, you will then work with community groups to develop a project proposal, something very feasible, and then we will release 10 per cent to advance a community project. It is more than just cricket, “Mr. Vernon said.
Now in its sixth year, the annual cricket competition is geared towards advancing community development through sports.
It is being held in partnership with the Jamaica Cricket Association, the Umpire Association, G.C Foster College, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and the Sports Development Foundation.
The main sponsors are: Wray and Nephew Limited, Lasco Cambio Services, Juici Patties, Gas Products Limited, Singer Jamaica Limited, the Gleaner, IRIE FM, HITS 92 FM and the RJR Communications Group.
By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS PRO