As told by Rtr. Dedunu Karunarathne
“Dream cricket has shown us that all kids in the world are the same. Given them a bat and a ball, and they love cricket” – Rick McCarthy
Dream Cricket is an annual Community Service project organized especially for differently abled children by Rotary Club of Colombo West together with Rotaract Club of Colombo West, Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa, Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa, Rotaract Club of NSBM and Rotaract Club of ANC. This year, the 9th Dream Cricket day was held on Saturday the 20th of October at Hyde Park Ground Colombo with the partnership of Hyundai Lanka Pvt. Ltd. The main objective of this event was to give an opportunity for the differently abled children to engage in activities related to cricket while enjoying the day.
The event consisted simple activities based on enhancing the skills related to cricket. The activities were organized and conducted under the guidance of Mr. Rick McCarthy, Ambassador of Dream Cricket, Bradman Foundation. All the special equipment required for the activities were provided by him and the Rotaractors were very thankful to him for helping us to make the event a success with his vast knowledge and experience of working with differently abled children.
Early morning we went to Hyde Park Ground and arranged the activities together with Mr. McCarthy. At around 8 am about 80 children arrived with their parents with the hope of spending an amazing day with us. We could see that the children were excited to see the activities that were set up by the Rotaractors. First, the children were given breakfast and then they were divided into groups and two Rotaractors were assigned to each group to take care of them. When the activities began, all of them participated very enthusiastically in them. Though rain disturbed us once, it did not lessen the enthusiasm of the children. The activities were simple like throwing a ball or hitting a ball with a bat. Despite their special needs, they all managed to complete the tasks and enjoyed the day. What mattered most was not completing the tasks but letting them have fun and enjoy the day. It was amazing to see them running around the ground with hearty smiles on their innocent faces. Not only Rotaractors but also Interactors participated in this event to give the kids the chance to have the experience of playing with new friends around their own age. We were pleased to see how they got friendly with each other, and played and enjoyed together without any difference.
We realized that though some kids are physically disabled, all the kids are same. All they need is love, affection and someone to believe in them.
The event was enlightened with the arrival of the chief guest, the famous cricketer Mr. Muththaiya Muralidaran, and the award ceremony was held with his participation. The children were overwhelmed to receive their medals from him. The proud smiles on their faces as they received the awards touched our hearts. Though it was a busy day for all of us, their happiness made it all worthy. It was really a dream coming into life for them. We were glad about being able to make their dream a reality.