Mayor Miller hosts celebration of youth cricket

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Leading organizer Ranil Mendis.

Leading organizer Ranil Mendis.

Mayor David Miller kicked off the sixth annual Cricket Across the Pond program at City Hall. The mayor introduced a team of 14 youth from Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods, known as the CIMA Toronto Mayor’s Team XI, along with various community partners and sponsors. On August 13, the team will travel to Kingston Upon Thames to play cricket against their counterparts in the United Kingdom.

 “The City of Toronto is proud to offer recreational programs that reflect the interests and cultures of our youth and our diversity,” said Mayor Miller. “Cricket Across the Pond gives youth an opportunity to participate in a sport that is becoming increasingly popular in Toronto and to travel and gain new experiences and knowledge that will be with them for a lifetime.”

Rizwan Ahmed, Vice President Commercial Financial Services, RBC Royal Bank …a major sponsor of cricket initiatives.

Rizwan Ahmed, Vice President Commercial Financial Services, RBC Royal Bank …a major sponsor of cricket initiatives.

Joining in today’s celebration were representatives of City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation; Kanish Thevasara, President of CIMA Canada; Riz Ahmad, Vice President Commercial Financial Services, RBC Royal Bank; and Jim Myers, Senior Vice President of Bell Canada, Customer Service.

“Cricket is one of the fastest growing sports in Canada and RBC’s involvement helps to make this global game more a part of the cultural landscape,” said Jennifer Tory, RBC’s Regional President, Greater Toronto Region. RBC is one of the initiative’s key sponsors. “We want to create a legacy that will enable our communities to build on their love of cricket and pass along a cherished tradition to their children.”

Peter Karunaratne from the Toronto Transit Commission team with Derek Perera.

Peter Karunaratne from the Toronto Transit Commission team with Derek Perera.

Cricket Across the Pond is a direct result of Toronto’s Annual Celebration of Cricket – CIMA Canada Mayor’s Trophy, launched in 2005 by Toronto Mayor Miller and Toronto Police Chief William Blair. This event promotes cricket as a sport that provides a unique opportunity to engage the city’s youth and promote relationships among Toronto’s diverse residents.

 The Cricket Across the Pond project is part of the overall Sharing Sports initiative of the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division. The aim of Sharing Sports is to increase access to sports and recreation for youth from diverse communities throughout the city. These innovative, creative and alternative types of programming have been developed to reflect interests of the youth of various backgrounds.