Australia’s summer of cricket is about to get a lot more colorful with the Maasai Warriors cricket team travelling from Kenya as part of Australia’s Marathon Cricket Event starting 4 February at the SCG.
The Maasai Warriors, who have swapped traditional cricket whites for their red tribal costumes, will play a number of matches, including against a multitude of AFL and Rugby legends, including Adam Goodes, Jude Bolton, Phil Waugh, George Gregan, Andrew Mehrtens and Wendell Sailor.
For the Maasai Warriors, cricket is more than a game; it's a vehicle which is making a difference to their communities and women and girls from their tribes. The young men of the Warriors, from the Laikipia region in Kenya, use cricket as a vehicle to empower youth and to target social problems to bring about positive change in their communities.
Since the Warriors inception, the Australian Governments has been an active supporter of the team. Recently the Australian High Commission in Kenya provided $30,000 to open the first Sports and Community Centre in Il Polei’swas, Laikipia. Opened by the Australian Deputy High Commissioner Jeremy Green, the Centre is not only a place for the community to gather and the team to train, but a place to continue their campaigning against practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), early childhood marriages and fight to eradicate discrimination against women.
The men use their success on the pitch to inspire youth in their communities. They teach children how to play cricket and travel to schools to speak to students about a range of issues, from poaching to FMG, gender equality and HIV/AIDS, a disease that has affected the Maasai community.
The Direct Aid Program is a small grants program funded from Australia’s aid budget. It has the flexibility to work with local communities in developing countries on projects that reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development consistent with Australia’s national interest.