The caretaker committee of the Nigeria Cricket Federation has launched an ‘Accelerated Growth Programme’ to spread the game to a targeted 250,000 youths in a grassroots development plan.
Chairman of the caretaker committee, Yahaya Ukwenya, who was also the President of the immediate past board said at the launch that the event was a continuation of the initiative started by the last board.
“We had an outlined growth plan that we stuck to, which was one of the core of our attention while the four-year tenure lasted, and we were at the tail end of it before the board was dissolved. This programme is actually a continuation of the plan,” Mr Ukwenya revealed.
He said the outcome of the plan meant that the country now has three cities with two world-class Cricket pitches each; which are Lagos, Abuja, and Benin.
According to him, “This phase of development, is meant to complement the facilities that are now in place.”
Mr Ukwneya said standard playing surface and access to cricket equipment had been the albatross to the game’s growth and the launch of the ‘Accelerated Growth Programme’ is meant to bring everything together.
“We have employed 37 field officers across the states of the federation and 2, 000 starter’s kids for the officers to run the game,” he added.
Over 100 kids were involved in the exhibition game that launched the event on May 27 in Abuja while the programme will be deployed through regional development officers across the country.
Secretary-General of the Federation, Taiwo Oriss, said, the Nigeria Cricket Federation is perhaps the biggest employer of development officers, which speaks to the huge investments it has made in that regard.
“This project ties all our growth agenda together and we have a well-structured team to drive this and deliver cricket as a tool for youth engagement and empowerment throughout the country,” added Mr Oriss.
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