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Chris Gayle laying foundations for the future

INSPIRATION: Chris Gayle

BIG-HITTING Chris Gayle will once again be the star of the show on June 6. That is the evening that the the Chris Gayle Foundation hosts its gala dinner in central London. The occasion will be hosted by media celebrity Piers Morgan and Gayle will be joined by star names including Kevin Pietersen, Ravi Bopara, Yuvraj Singh among others.

The Foundation was inspired by Gayle’s unique playing style and values, the charitable cause is underpinned by the principle of the ‘Big 6’ – making good choices, understanding consequences of actions, setting achievable goals, working hard, looking after health and respecting others.

The principles of the ‘Big 6’ are applied to outreach work with young people, namely in areas of deprivation and disadvantage.

Gayle, the first player to have scored a century in international Twenty20 cricket, says that the primary function of the Chris Gayle Foundation is to continue its academy.

The Chris Gayle Academy works with 20 young people, aged 16-22 who fulfil criteria based social, educational (behavioural) or economic circumstances. The academy cohort undertakes a year long programme of personal development and employability training inspired by physical activity and belonging within a cricket team.

At the outset, each academy member works with a lead coach and mentor to plot out a personal development plan – covering fitness, employability and communication skills, CV building and healthy living. The development plan acts as a personalised guide towards the end goal of a ‘positive outcome’ upon departing the academy programme.


LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: The batsman is inspiring the next generations

To aid this, routes of progression and placements have been set up with a range of partners within the sports industry.
The year long academy programme entails winter physical activity/cricket training, employability workshops, mentoring on a monthly basis, work experience and up to 8 cricket matches.

Alongside the practical elements of the programme, each academy member will be deployed into their local community as a volunteer to assist at community events, outreach/ mentoring sessions and deliver talks and coaching provision at schools.

Donovan Miller, co-founder of the foundation, told the Voice of Sport: “It’s very important to Chris to be inspiring the youth. Anyone that knows the Chris Gayle story, where he was brought up and what he’s been through and how cricket has helped him. He’s very passionate about the foundation’s work, he’s looking to give back in any capacity he can. It’s something very close to his heart.

“He’s a huge role to many young people around the world. People look up to him.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for about three years. There’s been a lot of planning leading up to the event, We’ve put a lot of time and effort into it to get the concept right.”

It’s something we want to carry on doing. The foundation is a stepping stone to some of the things we want to do, not just here in the Uk but in the Caribbean and different parts of the world.”

The Chris Gayle dinner takes place at The Grange St. Paul’s, LondonEC4V 5AJ on Tuesday, June 6. For info, contact: admin@lambassociates.co.uk

Chris Gayle’s ‘ Big 6’
1 (Respecting others
2. Setting goals
3. Making good choices
4. Working hard
5. Looking after your health
6. Understanding the consequences of your actions

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