CIMA Mayor’s School Cricket Tournament
City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation
Cricket as a vehicle for team building, cross-cultural communication and leadership development.
Move over, hockey. Ask Guyan Ferdinands about his favourite sport and he’ll tell you cricket is the only game in town. The 16-year-old Toronto high school student was just named the best under 15 bowler in North America by the international Americas Cricket Association.
Gayan Ferdinands is just one of the growing number of young cricket players who will benefit from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ (CIMA) Mayor’s School Cricket Tournament.
“This is really great. I hope this tournament will help the sport get more recognized in Toronto,” Gayan said.
Success on the School Field
Fans say cricket is the fastest growing sport in Toronto, with more than 50 school teams across the city. In some schools, it’s more popular than basketball.
The CIMA Mayor’s School Cricket Tournament was initiated in 2011 by the City to recognize Toronto’s thriving public school cricket program, building on the success of the classic Mayor’s Tournament that has brought the mayor, city staff and corporate and community partners together every summer since 2005 to enjoy the centuries-old game of cricket.
The success of the 2011 school pilot program was all it took to persuade the Toronto Catholic School Board (TCDSB) and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to join the partnership to promote the 2012 tournament within the school system.
The main objective of the school cricket program is to increase access to school cricket through a well coordinated inter-school cricket tournament. The CIMA School cricket program raises the game’s profile while a carefully-designed program introduces cricket as a vehicle for team building, cross-cultural communication and leadership development. The program provides Toronto’s diverse population of young cricketers with an opportunity to continue playing a game they have grown to love while raising the profile of the game and its young stars across the wider community.
Youth and cricket are a winning combination for CIMA chairman Amal Ratnayake: “As good management accountants, our members understand the value of partnerships in community building. We are delighted to be able to build a strong partnership between TDSB, TCDSB, the City of Toronto and CIBC to engage our young people through the game of cricket.”
Cricket Across the Pond
In 2012, the City of Toronto also became CIMA’s partner in promoting the Cricket Across the Pond (CAP) scholarship program. CAP is a community initiative organized by the Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation in partnership with CIMA Canada, and sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada. CAP is designed to provide opportunities to young people from Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods and develop social cohesion and interaction through cricket.
CAP uses cricket as a vehicle to reach out to youth from Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods, by giving them a sense of hope, increased self esteem and opportunities to become positive role models in their communities. The program provides young Toronto cricketers with leadership and communication skills and the opportunity to travel to the UK and act as ambassadors for Toronto.
“Now in its fifth year, Cricket Across the Pond scholarships have touched the lives of over 60 young Torontonians, leading them toward positive pursuits in life” said Ratnayake of CIMA Canada. “The CIMA Mayor’s School Cricket Tournament will provide aspiring school cricketers, a great opportunity to showcase their talent and a chance to shine in a sport that is passionately followed by many Torontonians”
Working in partnership with the British Consulate General in Toronto and the Borough of Kingston upon Thames in the United Kingdom, CAP provides young Toronto cricketers with the opportunity to travel to the UK, represent Toronto and learn leadership skills as ambassadors. The aim of the annual UK tour of the CIMA Mayor’s Team is to help these young Toronto ambassadors develop into positive role models in their communities.
“We’re proud to be part of helping send these young cricketers to the birthplace of the sport,” said RBC’s DiSalle. “It’s part of our commitment to build healthy and vibrant communities, where we can pass along cherished traditions to our children.”
The 2012 CIMA Mayor’s School Cricket Tournament brought some 40 school cricket teams from across Toronto together to compete in the tournament. Eight teams qualified to play in the finals and around a thousand people attended the tourney. This summer some of those young Canadian cricketers from Toronto are preparing to represent their city and country internationally at CAP.
“We have launched this tournament to give Toronto youth who play cricket an opportunity to participate in their own tournament,” Toronto mayor Rob Ford said. “It is amazing what kids can do when given the opportunity.”
CIMA has partnered with the City of Toronto Dept. of Parks, Forestry & Recreation to host the Mayor’s Trophy since 2005. The inaugural event gained media attention with the support of former Mayor David Miller. Since then Toronto’s annual celebration of cricket has grown in popularity and profile to provide Torontonians of all ages with an opportunity to showcase and celebrate Toronto’s diversity through cricket.
Today, City of Toronto spokesperson Ranil Mendis notes the City also invites people who can make a difference to the game. In 2012, participating teams included Go Transit, CBC, the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star newspapers as well as the Toronto Police Service. The Mayor’s Trophy has become a vehicle to bring Toronto’s vastly diverse communities together while helping raise funds for youth cricket initiatives in Toronto and internationally. For further details please visit: www.cima.mayorscricket.com