Western Province Cricket Union and retired Rondebosch Boys KFC Mini-Cricket coach, Lenore Ciolli is attending today’s KFC T20 International, and will form a part of the post-match presentation ceremony, in recognition of her commitment to the KFC Mini-Cricket programme.
Lenore is one of the longest serving KFC Mini-Cricket coaches in the country having begun her journey in 1983 (the same year that Cricket South Africa started the programme).
In 1983, the then school sports administrator at Rondebosch Boys, Mr Pieter Minnar (who was introduced to the programme by none other than the late Bob Woolmer), walked into the staff room and informed the teachers that the school was starting a new cricket programme and he wanted volunteers. Lenore did not know much about cricket but the programme sounded like something exciting so she joined as the school’s U9 coach.
Mini-Cricket has sice given her the opportunity to meet some amazing people including Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh when they visited the country and attended a KFC Mini-Cricket festival in Langa. She also received support from Gary Kirsten over the years. As a player, Gary used to attend KFC Mini-Cricket Provincial festivals at Newlands, meeting the kids and providing them with coaching tips.She has also seen first-hand the likes of Andrew Puttick and former England batsman Johnathan Trott progress from Mini-Cricket all the way to the professional ranks after coaching them at Mini-Cricket level.
Initially there were only four schools in her area that took part in KFC Mini-Cricket, Rondebosch Primary School, Bishops, SACS and Wynberg, now there are 14 schools with 384 kids that take part.
Lenore has helped Western Province Cricket with everything from ticketing to managing teams. She even served as the chairperson of the union for a while. Over all this time however, she never strayed from KFC Mini-Cricket. She loves the sport, loves the kids and enjoys watching children having fun.