ONGWEDIVA: Epokolo Cricket, a new type of cricket played using the stem of palm leaves, will be launched on Friday with a six-team cricket tournament to be held at the Nuuyoma Senior Secondary School (SSS) sports ground at Oshikuku in the Omusati Region.
Cricket development coordinator for Cricket Namibia, Jona Ambuga, told Nampa in an interview here on Wednesday that Epokolo Cricket is named after the stem of palm tree leaves that are going to be used in the tournament instead of cricket bats.
Six teams from the Oshikuku and Elim areas will participate in the tournament.
“We realised that there are no shops selling bats in the rural areas in northern Namibia, and not everyone can afford to buy a bat, hence the introduction of Epokolo Cricket,” explained Ambuga.
He pointed out that wet palm tree leave stems are the best to play cricket with, as opposed to using dry stems.
Another official launch of the Epokolo Cricket is scheduled for Oshakati in the Oshana Region on 29 September 2012.
The launch of Epokolo Cricket at Oshikuku and Oshakati is part of the cricket development programme called Kwata Cricket Programme, which was initiated by Cricket Namibia for the northern regions of Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati in 2009.
The Kwata Cricket Programme, which is spearheaded by Ambuga, commenced the implementation of its cricket development activities in the aforesaid northern regions in January this year.
This followed a three-year consultative stage that paved the way for the identification of interested schools and potential coaches at selected schools.
“The Kwata Cricket Programme has its own cricket development officers at each selected school who are on the payroll of the programme, while cricket coaching teachers at the schools receive an incentive of N.dollars 250 per teacher for transport to and from training,” Ambuga stated.
Coaching is conducted at the selected schools one day per week.
The Australian Sports Outreach Programme is sponsoring the Kwata Cricket Programme’s development phase for this year.
A total of 22 schools in the Oshana Region, three schools in Ohangwena Region and five schools in Omusati Region are part of the cricket leagues established by the Kwata Cricket Programme in the three northern regions of Namibia.
A trophy and gold medals will be awarded to the winning cricket team of the Epokolo Cricket launch tournament, while the runners-up and the third-best team will take home silver and bronze medals, respectively.