The Hope Foundation is delighted to announce that the Irish Cricket Team as the charity’s newest Ambassadors. This announcement comes as the Irish team compete in their second consecutive World Cup, which is currently being co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
As Ambassadors, Ireland’s cricketers will visit the street and slum children of Calcutta when they play there this March, and have put their weight behind the work of The Hope Foundation. Set up in 1999 to raise funds for one girls’ home, HOPE now works with 16 Indian NGO partners to rescue thousands of children from the streets and slums of Calcutta, improve their quality of life, and give them a better future. Currently running 64 projects, HOPE reaches out to the most forgotten; offering protection, healthcare, nutrition, education, rehabilitation and a family for life.
Current European Champions, Ireland arrive in Calcutta on March 12th and while there will play two group stage matches in Eden Gardens; onMarch 15th they face South Africa and on March 18th they play The Netherlands. Between training and matches the team will take time out to visit some of HOPE’s projects, including the Cricket Coaching Centre that operates for underprivileged children from slum areas. This centre is unique due to the fact that cricket coaching is expensive and would ordinarily not be an option for these children; it is also the only centre which offers cricket coaching to girls from underprivileged backgrounds. Here children get the opportunity to take part in a team sport and compete with other children which gives them something to focus on, offers equal opportunity and allows for good character building and team building skills.
Irish Team Manager, Roy Torrens said the players were honoured to be invited to support what he called “excellent work” and had accepted the request without hesitation. He said “Calcutta is India’s second most populous city and it is hard to imagine that as many as 50 per cent of children live below the poverty line. I have no doubt our visit will be the most humbling occasion many of us will have experienced and will strengthen our resolve to help in any way we can.”
“Cricket is, of course, the great sporting passion of India and we really look forward to joining the children. We will all be left with a lasting impression and hope it will allow us to develop some ideas of concrete support.”
Commenting on the announcement, Maureen Forrest, Hon. Director of The Hope Foundation said “We are delighted the Irish Cricket Team have taken the time out of their hectic schedule to support the work of The Hope Foundation and spend time with the children we work with. It will certainly be an eye opening experience for the players, and I’m sure they will gain as much from the experience as the children will.”
For further information on The Hope Foundation visit www.hopefoundation.ie. To find out more about the Irish Cricket Team’s ICC World Twenty20 schedule, visit www.cricketeurope4.net/CEIRELAND.