Kholiwe Nkuna, a 44 year-old primary school educator from Nkomazi
village, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, is the KFC Mini-Cricket Coach of the Month for November. The award is in recognition of her hard work and dedication towards the volunteer coaching programme. She wins a trophy, a cap and KFC gift vouchers worth R1 000.
Nkuna’s introduction to KFC Mini-Cricket came in 2006 when she heard an advert on Ligwalagwala FM inviting two teachers and 16 learners from all the schools in the province to attend a Mini-Cricket festival. “At that time I didn’t know anything about cricket as the only sports codes played at the school (Phakamani Primary School) were athletics, football and netball,” she said. “I was persuaded to go along by one of my colleagues and got permission from the deputy principal, hired a
mini bus and off we went.”
“At the event Selby Matsane, one of the coordinator’s, explained the rules, gave me a bat, ball and stumps and my team went into action. Within a week of getting back to school I had started a team with 20 players and had the full support of the deputy principal,” said Nkuna.
By the end of that year Nkuna had kids from six schools in her programme. “Pumas Cricket Club came and saw what I was doing and asked me to coordinate the entire circuit. Then in 2008 I officially joined the KFC Mini-Cricket programme and I now have about 20 schools that are fully active in all KFC Mini-Cricket activities. ”
Nkuna is currently a KFC Mini-Cricket coach and coordinator for the Kulanga Circuit in Ehlazeni Region in Mpumalanga,Nkuna does not have a formal coaching qualification at this stage, but has asked Pumas Cricket to nominate her for a beginners coaching course through Cricket South
Africa. “Getting a formal qualification is becoming critical, especially now that I am about to start coaching hard-ball cricket to kids over 16 years of age as well.”
While Nkuna has not yet had a player who has gone on to play at a higher level, she has requested Pumas Cricket Club to come and assess her players. “Hopefully when that has been done, they will call some of them to attend provincial trials.”
There are now over 100 000 kids getting active by getting into KFC Mini-Cricket. The over 7 000 volunteer coaches in the programme, who generously give their time and skills, will ensure that the kids from the 4 500 schools will be coached more frequently while also improving the standard of cricket.