Hammond shows cricket-crazy youngsters the way

2010-09-01 00:00

“MY mission is to expose more local children to the wonderful opportunities out there.”

This is the force that drives Tommy Hammond, who returned recently from back-to-back KZN Inland Invitation U13 and U17 cricket tours to England that saw the boys and tour coach/manager Hammond, his wife Cindy (tour co-ordinator) and U17 assistant coach Rodney Malamba make a journey around the south of England and the Isle of Wight.

The action-packed tour included a dizzying 20 matches in 30 days, offering many of these boys what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to taste the life of an international cricketer, while for the fortunate few it might be the platform from which top-level cricket careers are born.

And the cultural enrichment of the boys wasn’t left out either, as apart from their interaction with English schoolboys from some of the country’s best schools, they experienced samples of British life and its people during trips to tourist hot spots such as the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, Lord’s Cricket Ground, as well as evening theatre to see shows such as Billy Elliott and We Will Rock You.

Combining boys from the KZN and Easterns cricket unions, the U13s won 10 from 10 and the U17s three from seven.

“The tours are not just about winning, but giving boys opportunities. In our last game we gave our number 11 a chance to bat at four and allow him to learn from the experience,” says Hammond.

He mentions Lwandiswa Zuma, son of Msunduzi Municipality marketing and communications manager Brian Zuma, as a real talent, along with the Maritzburg College boy’s fellow College schoolmate Lionel Fouche, while post-tour, Nicholas Lockyer has already had an unofficial Dolphins Academy trial with Graham Ford.

Hammond’s road began 35 years ago as a physical education teacher before he opened his sports coaching business, Tommy Hammond Sports (THS) 16 years ago. In its time, THS has been on at least one overseas cricket tour over the past 15 years, 23 tours in all — including 20 to England and three to Australia. And in the process economically disadvantaged children and the advantaged from diverse cultural and socio-economic communities have rubbed shoulders in dressing rooms and the playing fields of England, effectively opening doors into the wider world for these youngsters and a chance to establish friendships with fellow young men who in the ordinary course of life would never have met.

Hammond has also built strong relationships with secondary and tertiary institutions in PMB, as well as cricket academies and the cricket unions, and this link has been productive in creating opportunities for local children.

Hammond says over the course of 15 years his teams’ exemplary behaviour on and off the field, and cricket etiquette, has seen THS establish mutually beneficial relationships with some of the most prestigious schools in England.

“They invite us back every year,” he says. “Employment opportunities for midlands boys have also come in the form of offers from prominent English junior schools and high schools in the affluent county of Hampshire to coach and serve as boarder masters in their gap year after matric. Clubs in the English villages and bigger towns are also looking for talented young cricketers to come over.”

Aside from being a successful schoolboy cricketer, Hammond’s son, also Tommy (26), has been, and is, a first choice in the SA hockey team and former Player of the Year who has represented South Africa in every World Cup and Commonwealth and Olympic Games since 2006. Hammond junior has played an integral role in THS from a coaching perspective and is now employed at local synthetic sports turf manufacturer, the Willowton-based GreenFields.

One of my favourite TV shrinks, Dr Phil McGraw, who knocks Oprah into a cocked hat, once said: “You are your own most important resource for making your life work. Until your knowledge, awareness, insights and understandings are translated into action, they are of no value.”

Tommy Hammond is adding value and more to life in the midlands. Tommy will be touring the UK next July holidays with an U13 team as well as an U16/17 team side. “In addition, Mauritius has invited us to tour in April with an U13 and an U15 team,” Hammond adds.

Anybody interested can contact Hammond at 072 686 8381.

 

TEAMS

U17:Joshua Wesson, Kalvin Venter, Shaun Sinclair, Lance Jeffery, Nicholas Lockyer, Jamion Govender, Michael Burns, Thabo Fulela, Vincent Nagel, Nicholas Govender, Henning du Plooy, Antonie Muller, Lionel Fouche.

U13: Clinton Pienaar, Michael Schulenkowski, Aidan Justus, Lwandiswa Zuma, Khesto Pienaar, Morne Badenhorst, Peter Trewick, Marco Strydom, Gregory Sacke, Johannes van Tonder, Divan van der Merwe.

SCORES IN BRIEF

U13 Tour:

KZN 238 (P. Trewick 46, J. Van Tonder 46, M. Schulenkowski 34). Andover CC 195 (C. Pienaar 3/9). KZN won by 43 runs.

Twyford School 148 (M. Schulenkowski 3/10, G. Sacke 3/11). KZN 149 for 6 (P. Trewick 35). KZN won by 4 wickets.

Farleigh School 98 (M. Schulenkowski 3/8). KZN Invitation 99 for 6 (L. Zuma 28). KZN won by 4 wickets.

KZN 224 for 6 (P. Trewick 56 ret, J. Van Tonder 50 ret, M. Strydom 31, A. Justus 30). Oratory School 150 for 5. KZN won by 74 runs.

20/20: Hampshire Collegiate 124 for 4. KZN 126 for 3 (P. Trewick 43*, L. Zuma 39*). KZN won by 7 wickets.

Ludgrove School 83. KZN 87 for 2. KZN won by 7 wickets.

KZN 237 for 7 (P. Trewick 48, M. Strydom 36*). Ventnor CC 175. KZN won by 62 runs.

KZN 239 for 2 (A. Justus 51 ret, L. Zuma 50 ret, P. Trewick 41*, K. Pienaar 39*). Ryde School 159 for 6. KZN won by 80 runs.

KZN 215 for 7 (C. Pienaar 50 ret, M. Schulenkowski 33*, J. van Tonder 32*). Abberley Hall School 168 for 9. KZN won by 47 runs.

U17 Tour:

KZN Inland 154 for 5 (N. Lockyer 48, S. Sinclair 31). Worth School 124 (H. du Plooy 3/26). KZN won by 30 runs.

Andover CC 144 for 7 (N. Govender 3/30). KZN 146 for 7 (N. Lockyer 63). KZN won by 3 wickets.

KZN 142 (N. Lockyer 51). Portsmouth Grammar School 145 for 4. Portsmouth Grammar won by 6 wickets.

Harrow School U16 232 for 6 (L. Fouche 3/25). KZN 233 for 4 (H. du Plooy 66, N. Lockyer 57, N. Govender 34). KZN won by 6 wickets.

KZN 177 (H. du Plooy 33). Aldenham College 178 for 9 (A. Muller 4/36). Aldenham won by 1 wicket.

KZN 209 (N. Lockyer 104). Eltham College 210 for 6 (L. Jeffery 3/23). Eltham won by 4 wickets.

KZN 210 for 1 (K. Venter 83*, S. Sinclair 70*). Hampshire Collegiate Academy 212 for 8. Hampshire Collegiate won by 2 wickets.

Felsted Festival: Felsted School 158 (A. Muller 4/34). KZN 101. Felsted won by 57 runs.

KZN 169 (N. Lockyer 38). St. Johns College (South Africa) 170 for 3. St. Johns won by 7 wickets.

Merchant Taylors 162 (J. Govender 3/10, H. du Plooy 3/37). KZN 149 (M. Burns 60). MT won by 13 runs.

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