On 3rd November a youth indoor cricket tournament was held at the “Milan Gale Muškatirović” Sports Centre in Belgrade. The particularity of this tournament was the fact that the Roma and other socially disadvantaged children newly-recruited during the course of the “Cricket for Vulnerable Populations” project were able to play side-by-side with their more experienced peers, including those who have already been capped for the Serbian national team.
Three 6-a-side teams participated, for this event named as Tigers, White Lions and Pumas. Each team had at least two new recruits and one girl.
Tigers: Nemanja Petrović (c), Stefan Petrović, Dušan Stanić, Irena Veljković, Mihailo Vučetić, David Selimi.
White Lions: Matija Šarenac (c), Nemanja Zimonjić, Denis Bekteši, Lazar Vasilijević, Dehran Bekteši, Tijana Jelić.
Pumas: Vukašin Zimonjić (c), Haslan Kamberi, Luka Denić, Rahman Ademi, Sofija Gole i Stefan Ćustić.
The volunteers were two high-school students who have during the course of the Project gained basic cricket coaching knowledge – Jovan Reb and Oliver Pestelek.
Each team played two matches and the winner of the tournament had to be decided according to the net run rate, due to the fact that each team won one and lost one match.
At the end, Tigers won gold, White Lions silver, and Pumas bronze medal. The award for the best batsman went to Mihailo Vučetić, and the best bowler was Vukašin Zimonjić, who took three wickets in one over. The best emerging player was Rahman Ademi, and the best female player award went to Sofija Gole.
The Roma and other children recruited in the last month have thus been integrated in the existing youth teams in Belgrade, and will continue free cricket practice in three locations in Belgrade – Padinska Skela, Novi Beograd/Ledine, and Stari Grad.
The project of German Development Cooperation “Cricket for Vulnerable Populations” that is implemented the Serbian Cricket Federation (SCF) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmBH– GIZ aims to contribute to the integration of children from vulnerable groups through sport. Specifically, through a number of cricket sessions, Roma and other socially vulnerable children will be integrated into existing youth cricket sides and the regular activities of the SCF. The project is in line with the UN endorsed Sport for Development concept. The Project “Cricket for Vulnerable Populations” is a pilot project with a duration of one month.