In partnership with Kiwanis Vanuatu and the Australian Federal Police-funded Cyber Safety Pasifika initiative, the Vanuatu Cricket Association successfully conducted the first "Cyber Safety Super 8s Cricket Festival" last Friday at the Vanuatu Cricket Grounds at Korman.
Seven schools competed. Central, Lifechange, Seaside and Vila East played for the mixed Under 13s competition while Peter Pan, PVIS, Melemaat and a "Barbarian" Port Vila side competed for the Under 15s trophy.
Each side was sponsored by a local business with Hurley Lawyers, James Kluck & Associates, Power & Communications Solutions, Vanuatu Agricultural Supplies (supported by Kubota and Jusqvana), and Vanuatu Brewing (through their Cascade Sparking Water brand) each having a team in one of the competitions.
Additionally, long-time Vanuatu resident Peter Wilson sponsored the Kiwanis team and the Carbine Club added to to their many community contributions by supporting one of the sides.
In addition, BSP donated enough food to feed the 100-strong crowd of players and attendees cooked up with an Origin Energy BBQ and gas. Vanuatu Brewing doubled up in their support by supplying all the water for the day.
Over lunch all children were presented to by the Vanuatu Police Force about safety online, while the Social Impact & Inclusion Ambassadors of Vanuatu Cricket contributed a drama performance highlighting the impact of cyber bullying.
"What an amazing day! On behalf of Vanuatu Cricket I would like to say a special thanks to Kiwanis and Cyber Safety Pasifica for spearheading the event, and to every sponsor, player, teacher and everyone else involved to make the day a success, and something that we hope will become an annual event," said VCA CEO Tim Cutler.
Vanuatu Cricket Development Manager, Pierre Chilia, was thrilled with the day expressing his excitement at the commitment from the schools and the sponsors to help develop cricket.
“It was great seeing students taking the time out from class having fun and enjoyment playing cricket and representing their schools.
"The support from business houses for the sport also shows the development and contribution that Vanuatu Cricket has in the communities, so I can only hope that given the success of this event they will be back again for more.”
The teams proceeded in a round robin style tournament followed by the top two sides facing off in a grand final. In the U13 category Lifechanger School took on Central in a thrilling encounter. Needing two runs with only one wicket remaining Lifechanger hit a four to give them their first tournament win.
Lifechanger teacher, Amy Wilson, went on to add that “the students said they had a great time. Thank you for all your efforts today we appreciate you inviting Life Changer to be a part of the day”
In the U15s PVIS took the helm making 87 runs in the first innings. What ensued was another thriller with Melemat needing just four from the last over, hitting a six with three balls remaining to claim the U15 title.
Cyber Safety Pasifika also heralded the event with Acting Superintendent and Vanuatu Mission Commander Andre Nant of the Australian Federal Police saying "the Australian Federal Police was proud to support Vanuatu Cricket and Kiwanis in promoting awareness of cyber bullying and the Cyber Safety Pasifika program to the youth of Vanuatu."
"Vanuatu Police Force appreciate the partnership with Vanuatu cricket and the other sponsors. The event was a great achievement for the VPF to deliver joint awareness with Vanuatu Cricket and we look forward to future opportunities to spread awareness in the community," said Superintendent Samason Garae.