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Howzat for a trip of a lifetime? Cricketers visit underprivileged kids in the Caribbean

Student cricketers studying at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have donated kit and equipment to underprivileged kids living on the Caribbean island of St Lucia.

Around twenty students from DMU’s male cricket team travelled to the paradise isle to experience a trip of a lifetime thanks to the university’s flagship scheme #DMUglobal.

St Lucia kids

DMU Men's Cricket Club visited local schools in St Lucia, offering coaching sessions and donating kit.

This is the second time a sports club has visited the island after DMU’s Netball Club organised coaching sessions with a number of the islands schools last summer.

The Cricket Club visited Barbados last year, but after teaming up with charity United Through Sport, they headed next door to see what another of the Caribbean’s cricket enthused islands has to offer.

A jam-packed ten day schedule of leisure, educational and sporting trips was put in place for the club which ran from Monday 5 June to Wednesday 14 June.

St Lucia mountains

St Lucia beach

St Lucia's stunning mountain range and sandy beaches were enjoyed by the club on the trip of a lifetime.

Club Chairman, Amer Nazir a soon to be graduate of DMU’s Economics BA (Hons) undergraduate degree said: “United Through Sport were great to work with as they were able to put in place all of the coaching sessions, school visits and fixtures, which was a real help.

“We visited a sports academy which schooled the upcoming talent of the island and we donated two bags of kit to them, which you could see they needed.

“Being out there witnessing this, just shows how privileged we are here in the UK, having access to all the kit and equipment we could possibly need. It just doesn’t compare.”

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Visiting the Caribbean offered a whole new experience to the club, from the pitch conditions, the atmosphere and the weather which neared the 40s every day.

Amer said: “When we were out there we played on pitches that are very different to what we’re used to here in the UK.

“We played at one of the better grounds in the island, but even then the ground was very hard and cracked and it made it incredibly difficult to play on.

“Our opposition were the rising cricketing stars of the island and they were very good. I’d like to say the wicket played a main part in our defeats, but I’d be lying. We got quite a thrashing.”

St Lucia club

Charity, United Through Sport organised fixtures and training sessions for the club.

While visiting schools, offering coaching sessions and playing matches was the priority; the club still had some free time to soak up some of the leisure activities the island has to offer.

On the first day, the students went on an adventure tour, which was an open-top jeep safari around the island and also dared a 1000ft zip wire across the islands rainforest and a visit to the waterfalls.

There was also an opportunity to witness some world class cricket between the West Indies and Afghanistan at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium.

St Lucia stadium

The club visited the Darren Sammy Stadium to watch international fixture: Afghanistan v West Indies.

Amer said: “Watching an international fixture in the West Indies was just incredible.

“The atmosphere was something that none of us had every experienced before.

“We’ve seen games in the Caribbean on TV with all the fans dancing and enjoying themselves, but to experience something like that in person was a surreal experience and one that I won’t forget.”

#DMUglobal has been providing sports clubs with the opportunity to provide submissions for student-led trips for the past three years and it something they have all relished.

The club hope that they can continue their relationship with United Through Sport and organise future trips to the Caribbean and other areas of the world to enhance their all-round student experience.

St Lucia presentation

Chair, Amer Nazir donating kit to the local schools on the island.

The trip provided a fantastic end to the year for the club who were unfortunate to be relegated from Division One. However, they defeated rivals the University of Leicester 3-0 in their Varsity series, which is the first time the club have ever achieved a clean sweep.

With a lot of the players graduating this summer, fresh talent will hoping to regain the club Division 1 status and retain their Varsity title.

Posted on Monday 3rd July 2017

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