By Carlena Knight
For many, cricket is a passionate game they play, a job, or even just a sporting event they love to watch on the big screen.
Some huddle around the radio to listen, or even travel to different countries as part of the fanbase. But for Tamara Lowe, her love for the game has gone way past just being an avid fan.
Lowe, who was born in Australia, began the Cricket Kindness project as the Caribbean Children’s Cricket Charity in early 2016 in her then home of Sydney, Australia. And through that humanitarian initiative, she has provided cricket gear to disadvantaged children across the Caribbean, Sri Lanka, and the South Pacific.
“The Cricket Kindness Kit Recycling Programme ensures that masses of expensive bats, helmets, pads, balls, gloves, sneakers and clothes, with plenty of wear left, are not discarded, ending up in landfills, as children and teenagers outgrow them,” she said.
“We are always delighted to accept superseded new cricket kit too – stuff that has been left redundant by change of sponsorship and advances in technology.
“As a passionate humanitarian with a life-long love for cricket, I founded the Cricket Kindness project to address the shortage of quality cricket equipment for Caribbean youth, recognising the profound and positive impact of sport on people and communities,” Lowe explained.
“I recognised there is a huge shortage of quality age-appropriate cricket gear in countries like Antigua and Barbuda, and I am determined to use cricket as a force for good to bolster cricket resources in schools for youngsters,” she said, when asked about the inspiration behind the venture.
To date, over 60,000 items of sporting equipment and uniforms have been provided to underprivileged cricket-loving children and teenagers around the world, and in Antigua and Barbuda specifically, over 9,500 items to 37 primary schools, nine secondary, and eight college teams have been gifted.
Many schools, such as the Five Islands Primary, Old Road Primary, Irene B Williams Secondary and Villa Primary have received kit donations on more than one occasion.
“We are in the process of finalising the government schools throughout Antigua and Barbuda that will receive cricket goodwill donations in the coming weeks, and later this year.
“So far, I can tell you we will be donating to Old Road Primary School, Antigua Grammar School, Villa Primary and Golden Grove,” Lowe said.
One of the teachers at the Villa Primary School revealed that since the first donation, the students have “put the gear to good use” with many moving on to play for cricket teams as they transitioned into secondary school.
Not only will Lowe be returning to the country to donate more kits, but she will also be hosting a benefit dinner next week.
“The Cricket Kindness benefit dinner at Catherine’s Café in English Harbour on Tuesday March 8 will raise funds to help the Cricket Kindness project continue fulfilling our mission supporting disadvantaged Caribbean communities with cricket equipment,” she told Observer.
“We are looking forward to many people coming to the dinner straight after stumps on day one of the West Indies vs England Test match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium,” Lowe added.
It is her hope to one day expand the Cricket Kindness project to assist needy communities with educational resources for school and university students, and fund school breakfast programmes.
Residents are being encouraged to support the worthy cause.
Tickets can be purchased on www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cricket-kindness-dinner-tickets-252158963247 or by logging on to www.cricketcharity.org.
The three-course dinner and welcome cocktail event starts at 6.30pm with special guest Sir Vivian Richards in attendance.