Thousands step up to bat


…as English mentor, Martin Sampson returns to Lesotho for primary school cricket clinics 


MASERU – More than 2 000 children from three primary schools in Maseru attended cricket coaching clinics conducted by top English instructor, Martin Sampson a week ago. The coaching clinics, which were held under the organisation of the Lesotho Cricket Association (LCA), were conducted for Thamae LECSA Primary School, Liraoeleng Primary School, and Leqele Primary School on different days starting on February 6.

Sampson said a total of 2400 pupils from these three schools attended the coaching clinics – 800 from Thamae LECSA, 1, 200 from Leqele, and 400 children from Liraoeleng. 

“We went to three government primary schools. In the first school, Thamae LECSA, we had 800 children; in the second school, Leqele Primary, we had 1,200; and on the third day, we had Liraoeleng Primary School, where we had a further 400 children,” said Sampson in a media briefing on Tuesday this week.

“In the course of three days, we have managed to deliver some cricket sessions to 2,400, which is a fantastic number.”

Sampson further said: “I think the main reason for being here is for me to share with the LCA some ideas on how to make cricket more fun and more inclusive.”

He added: “My job as a volunteer in England is that I am a coach for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and the ECB has done a lot of work in the last five years to work out how we can develop the game of cricket for more children and certainly for the last few years for women and girls.

“So my job here is to share with LCA some ideas on how to make the game more fun and more inclusive.”In England, Sampson said they had a programme for young children called All Stars Cricket. “There are three ways of doing this, and in England there is a programme called All Stars Cricket, which has been running for about five years now. This version of cricket is for really young kids from five, six, seven, and eight years old.”

Sampson said three years ago, the ECB also introduced dynamic cricket for children aged nine, 10, and 11. This was his second visit to Lesotho. He first came to Lesotho in 2020 to conduct his maiden coaching clinics.

The LCA Development Officer, Lekoatsa Chaka, said at the time (in 2020), his organisation collaborated with Kick4Life to facilitate Sampson’s visit to Lesotho.

“In 2020, we collaborated with Kick4Life for Martin (Sampson) to come and conduct cricket lessons at schools,” said Chaka at the same media briefing on Tuesday.

“He visited a number of schools at that time.” Chaka further said: “Despite the fact that we experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, he had not been here for four years, and now it took us six months to arrange for him to come back to Lesotho.”

Sampson, who is also an international volunteer, only conducted cricket sessions in government-owned schools. He said that is because pupils from private schools already play cricket.

“It was not important to me to go to the private schools because their children get cricket. “So it was important to me to go to the government schools where a lot of children picked up the bat for the first time,” he said. 

The coaching clinics were conducted for both boys and girls, with LCA Media Liaison Dr. Clifford Molefe saying the main purpose was for the local kids to grow up playing cricket until they become mature so that in the future they would be able to select national team players among them. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *