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MBABANE – Eswatini Cricket Association (ECA) has already surpassed the target of 54 new primary schools for the year 2023, thanks to the Criiios Programme.

ECA has successfully rolled out the Criiio Cricket Programme to 65 primary schools. These numbers have a potential of increasing to 100 considering the willingness of the primary schools that want to introduce the sport to their schools and facilitate the Criiio Programme themselves. If the teachers are the ones fully involved in the facilitation of the programme, this will minimise the costs for running it and ECA will be able to support more schools by buying soft ball equipment for them.


Operations Officer Mandla Dlamini emphasised on how proud he was on the opportunities created by the programme. “The teachers who will become the facilitators after the eight Criiios sessions will have learnt new skills, as they take part in coaching courses,” mentioned Mandla.  ECA has conducted four coaching courses for the teachers from all the four regions of the Kingdom of Eswatini. The courses are facilitated in such a way that the teachers will be able to facilitate the programme themselves, requiring less assistance of the development coaches. Junior involvement numbers currently stand at 6 500. These numbers have been attained within a space of one and a half months. To ensure balanced gender participation, each school is required to have an equal number of boys and girls playing cricket.

The next stage for the young cricketers will be the school inter-house competitions. Each school is expected to conduct a mini cricket competition. This competition will be a good platform for the junior cricketers to assess themselves in terms of how far they are. The teachers with the assistance of the development coaches will identify talent that will be then nurtured in the school coaching clinics and cricket hub/high performance centres. The inter schools mini cricket competition will come next. This competition will be great for the juniors to showcase their talent among the other aspiring cricketers as well as mingle with others from the schools within their zones. The top two winners from each category will qualify to participate in the national mini cricket festival to be staged in a date to be confirmed.

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