Limpopo youth cricket club winning at sport transformation on the field

10 May 2016

A small amateur cricket club in Limpopo is changing the game for the region’s kids on the field. Meet the Oaks Cricket Club. A new documentary and crowdfunding project takes the story of this positive community project to the world.

Established in 1996, inspired by the South African cricket team’s successes after re-admittance to the international game, the Oaks youth cricket team started out small and humble in the village of Ga-Sekororo, part of the Maruleng district, with only rudimentary equipment and makeshift playing fields.

Coach Cavaan Moyakamela, an alumni of the team, tutors and guides disadvantaged boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 19 from townships on the basics of cricket, instilling a love for the intricacies of the game, and gives them the opportunity to take their minds off their daily hardships.

Moyakamela told community newspaper, Letaba Herald that the club priority has always been to create a safe, fun environment for the local youth, while offering an opportunity for the kids to learn about fitness and healthy living, but also gain discipline and respect that team sport offers.

The club currently provides cricket training to over 80 kids, and despite the massive financial and social challenges they face, the team has progressed from strength to strength, playing against other school teams in the region with great success, creating an enthusiastic buzz amongst local residents.

With the help of an award-winning filmmaker and a local journalist, the club is now eager to tell the world its story in an effort to create awareness for the power of grassroots sport initiatives and earn some much needed sponsorship. The money will be used to improve the club’s playing fields, buy new equipment and take its members on national tours to play against other youth cricket teams.

South African Film and Television Award winning producer of local film hit Dis Ek, Anna, Niel van Deventer, and Letaba Herald journalist, Hendrik Hancke, have begun the Field of Dreams initiative as a way to generate interest in the club. They also seek financing and sponsorship for the documentary, which highlights the club and its rich history.

While the story of the Oaks has now become legendary in the Limpopo province, inspiring local businesses and individuals to play their part in the form of sponsorships and other support for the club’s teams, Hancke and Van Deventer have now released a trailer for the documentary-in-progress on YouTube to gain wider exposure for the team. They have also started a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo’s Generosity fundraising website.

The initiative has even caught the attention of former Proteas bowler Meyrick Pringle, who tweeted support of the club’s plans.

While funds raised so far have been small, including donations from as far as New Zealand and the UK, the initiative hopes that as the story of the club’s success and contribution to the community spreads, the more funding will follow. The first part of the plan is to send the club on their inaugral national tour, to play youth teams in Eastern Cape over the next year.

Watch the documentary trailer here and visit the Field of Dreams Generosity crowdfunding page for more information.