THE Australian government, Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council (ICC) last Tuesday signed up to a cricket partnership for capacity building and strengthening of cricket development programmes in the Pacific.
Prime minister Kevin Rudd signed the agreement last Tuesday in Canberra at the Prime Minister’s XI cricket match along with Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland and the ICC president David Morgan.
Sport is widely recognised as a vital tool in building stronger communities, not least through providing opportunities for youth leadership and achievement, and the partnership will give players, leaders, administrators, coaches and officials opportunities to progress to levels beyond community competitions, as well as strengthening the sport at the grassroots.
The cricket partnership includes government support of up to A$1.6 million (K3.83 million) over four years, and will initially focus on Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa and Solomon Islands.
The partnership is an agreement between the ICC’s East Asia-Pacific development programme, CA and the Australian government’s Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Sports Commission.
The prime minister announced A$26 million (K62.2 million) in sports-related assistance to the Pacific island countries at the Pacific Islands Forum last August.
This includes A$15 million (K35.9 million) over five years to establish and support sport partnerships between Australian and regional sporting federations in the Pacific region.
The Pacific Sports Partnerships programme works with the Australian Sports Outreach Programme.
The Australian Sports Outreach Programme works in partnership with local authorities and communities in developing countries to increase their capacity to deliver inclusive, sports-based programmes that contribute to strengthening communities.