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The Uplifting Story Of The Maasai Cricket Warriors

The Uplifting Story Of The Maasai Cricket Warriors

The famous Maasai warriors of Kenya are revered for their vibrant red skirts and colourful beaded jewellery, not so much their cricket skills. But that is slowly starting to change. They Maasai Cricket Warriors are now one of the youngest cricket teams (formed just 6 years ago) and certainly one of the most unusual.

Whilst government investment in infrastructure and sporting enterprise is still lackluster in Kenya, the Warriors have succeeded against the odd. There's now 24 players on the team itself and all of them coming from Il Polei and the neighboring Endana village. Homegrown and in touch with their community.

Sadly, it's that same community that had been darkened with tales of domestic abuse, forced childhood marriages and the ever present HIV/Aids looming large. Complex issues that posed a genuine threat to the well-being, health and safety of the Massai tribe itself. Yet with the creation of their cricket team, suddenly there's a genuine sense of unity, optimism, equality and education taking place between locals.

(You can support their documentary Warriors by making a small donation here)

The players are using cricket to help address the social and health problems in their community, they visit local schools to not only show the children how to play the game from a grassroots level, but also focus on risks associated with unprotected sex, abuse against women and even animal poaching. Though cricket is the vehicle, it's benefits are having a tangible and positive impact on the area. Rival communities are coming to games together and there appears to be a genuine push to are to undo the traditional practices that are having a damaging and negative on their culture.

This is no silver bullet or magic solution, but with education, awareness & conversation the barriers are slowly being broken down. And just like a good team, in order to be successful, you need to work together as one.

The Maasai Cricket Warriors are not only a shining example what can be achieved through sport, but also by being a great team off the field as well.

You can see high res photos from photographer Carl De Souza via The Atlantic 

Via Maasai Cricket Warriors

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