February 20 2003
Cricket World Cup - SOS cricket teams meet the Kenyan national team
20/02/2003 - On Monday 17 February, 22 children from the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Nairobi were invited to the Nairobi Holiday Inn to meet the Kenyan cricket team, who had just landed from South Africa in preparation for their home match against Sri Lanka.
In 2001 the cricket team at the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Nairobi came top of its division. Impressed by their developing skills, the Kenya Cricket Association gave them a professional coach, who, for the last year has been visiting the school and training the players three times a week.
Another surprise was in store for the young cricketers from the school this week when they were invited to the Nairobi Holiday Inn, official Kenyan hotel of the Cricket World Cup, to welcome home their national team. The Cricket World Cup, which is co-hosted by South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, is only half way through the tournament schedule, and Kenya's third match against Sri Lanka is scheduled to take place on Monday 24 February at Kenya's home ground.
The Kenyan team, who, along with the Sri Lankan team, will stay at the same hotel whilst playing in Nairobi, received a warm welcome from the 22 children (both boys and girls) who, dressed all in white, lined the pathway to the hotel, singing songs and waving paper flags made especially for the occasion.
The paper flags were not just for show. The Holiday Inn had specifically asked the children to draw and colour flags for a competition, the winner of which would receive Ksh 500 (about $7). The sales manager at the hotel had a difficult time choosing the winner, but finally a flag made by a girl who lives in SOS Children's Village Nairobi was chosen. Two more SOS children took second and third place, winning Ksh 300 and Ksh 200 respectively. All the other children were awarded Ksh 50 each for the big effort they made with their entries.
When the Sri Lankan team arrive at the Holiday Inn, the children will also be there to welcome them, this time with their Sri Lankan flags and another chance to win the competition. In addition, the staff at the hotel are planning a friendly match against the children before the international on Monday - when the 22 children will be guests at the match.