Waves, wickets and Calypso cricket

2012-12-07 13:17

Cape Town - More than 3 000 children will take advantage of the sun and sand when Sporting Chance hosts the 22nd edition of the Sporting Chance Calypso Cricket Festival on some of Cape Town’s famous beaches, from December 10-14. 

With the festive season holidays in full bloom, Sporting Chance in association with Taquanta Investment Holdings, Virgin Active, SuperSport Let’s Play, Maurits van Nierop Foundation, Groupon South Africa and Pick n Pay Western Cape will give children from Cape Town’s surrounding communities the opportunity to test their cricket skills at Main Beach Strand, Kommetjie’s Long Beach and at the home of Calypso - Muizenberg’s Sunrise Beach.

The spirit of Calypso comes on the back of the West Indies’ recent triumph at the Champions League T20, which is testament to their natural flair being well suited in the shorter version of the game. The flamboyance of Calypso, the richness of reggae music and the whistle of the waves as they play cricket on the beach, has seen the Caribbean produce some of the world’s best cricketers. Now South Africa’s children have the same opportunity!

Proteas’ wicketkeeper, Thami Tsolekile, was one of the first participants of the Calypso Cricket Festival in its inaugural year in 1991. Tsolekile, who is currently on tour with the national team in Australia, remembers his Calypso memories well.

“Calypso was special for me in my early cricket career and I have fond memories of my time on the beach with my Langa team-mates. I had no idea where it would take me, but I can say now that all those experiences contributed to where I am today.”

Brad Bing of Sporting Chance echoes Tsolekile’s sentiments, “Every year we introduce thousands of children to the programme and their participation and excitement is gratifying as Calypso Cricket continues to be a highlight in their lives.”

More than just a day at the beach, the Calypso Cricket Festival is used as an incentive at the end of the academic year and is part of Sporting Chance’s determination to encourage sport and physical activity as a fixture in all children’s lives, irrespective of race, gender or social class and to create an uplifting environment to bring together various communities.

Calypso is a unique and fun adaptation of the conventional game. Employing most of the rules of cricket, it is played on the beach with two teams of 10 players each and includes both boys and girls.

“Calypso Cricket has proven a popular way of introducing children from some of our emerging communities to cricket,” states Bing.

“It has also given us the platform to identify talent, where more than 40 players have gone on to play provincial cricket at school level.”

For Virgin Active South Africa, the purpose of Calypso is two-fold, with the focus on promoting physical activity and making a difference in our communities through education. 

“Our involvement with Calypso gives us the platform to engage with our communities and enhance children's lives through activeness, where our staff take to the beach to teach the children on the importance of health and fitness in a fun environment,” National Club-V Manager Robyn Moore declared.

Participation in the programme is from the age of eight to 14, offering learners the opportunity to engage in a healthy and fun-filled lifestyle throughout those critical, formative years. The communities and clubs are therefore an integral part of the programme.

The 22nd annual Calypso Cricket Festival takes places on the following dates:


Venue - Beach

 Regions participating

Monday 10th Dec

Main Beach, Strand

 Lwandle & Nomzamo










Tuesday 11th Dec

Long beach, Kommetjie  







Ocean View




Wednesday 12th Dec

Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg

Elsies River







Thursday 13th Dec

Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg




Mitchells Plain






Steenberg/Lotus River




Friday 14th Dec

Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg