Cricket Improves Lives of Sierra Leone’s Youth

February 8, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. cricket 
[KRIK-it] (n.) – a sport that involves bats and balls and is played by two teams of 11 players
Example: Yuko Sasaki is one of the well-known Japanese cricket players.

2. fund [fuhnd(v.) – to sponsor or to financially support another person
Example: Many charities fund the education of poor children.

3. back (someone) up [bak-SUHM-wuhn, -wuhn-uhp] (v. phrase) – to support someone
Example: The government backed the athletes up by funding the expenses for the Olympics.

4. historical [hi-STAWR-i-kuhl, -STOR-(adj.) – referring to past events
Example: To relive historical events, the school organized a field trip to the museum.

5. colony [KOL-uh-nee(n.) – an area that is under the rule of another country
Example: The Philippines was Spain’s colony for about three centuries.

Read the text below.

Cricket is becoming popular among young people in Sierra once again. But nowadays, this sport is not only played for pleasure, but also as motivation for players to continue studying.

Sierra Leone Cricket Association (SLCA) and the government have been encouraging young people to play sports and also to go to school. SLCA CEO, Francis Samura, stressed that supporting youth’s education ensures future employment. According to the World Bank, 70% of Sierra Leone's youth are unemployed.

SLCA funds some of the cricketers’ education. One of the association’s scholars is 18-year old Osman Koroma who started playing cricket when he was nine. Koroma’s parents were against cricket, saying that it would get in the way of his studies.

Because of his love for cricket, Koroma left home to continue playing with the team. Since then, SLCA has been backing Koroma up by paying for his education. As from the game itself, Koroma learned how to concentrate more and to be disciplined.

Another scholar is 17-year old Usman Thomas Sankoh who plays the bowler and batman positions. Sankoh said he is very grateful that SLCA helped him improve his life.

In addition to promoting cricket among the youth, Samura also wanted people to realize the historical significance of the game. Cricket was introduced in 1898 when Sierra Leone was a British colony. Back then, local and British players teamed up in playing the game, which taught the locals how to be a gentleman.

However, people stopped playing this sport for a decade because of the civil war in the 1990s. Many cricket fields were destroyed that time.

Currently, there is only one cricket ground in Freetown, the country’s capital. Despite the lack of facilities, more than 4,000 youths play cricket. Sierra Leone cricketers hope to qualify for the International Cricket Council Under-19 World Cup next year.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Can playing sports really help shape one’s character? Why do you think so?
·         How else can people benefit from playing sports?

Discussion B
·         Why is it important to learn a sport’s history?
·         What sports have historical significance in your country? Please briefly explain your answer.


February 8, 2013