In early July (2009) James Mapstone was in Jamaica along with the principals of “Cricket for Change” suggesting ways I could best give back to the game that has given me so much.
In the years that I was trundling in for Gloucestershire, Bristol not Kingston was my home. The work with young persons’ “at risk” in and outside of correctional institutions done by James’ 2nd Chance Project throughout urban Britain can be equally effective in Jamaica where especially in Kingston crime and violence and the drug culture are all pervasive. One of the pillars of the Courtney Walsh Foundation will be projects using cricket to positively influence inner-city youth.
The 2nd Chance Project will be first used at Rio Cobre, one of our Juvenile Correctional Centre’s when The Foundation is launched later this year and James has promised to return to Jamaica to further guide us in this exciting and so crucial partnership.
Along with “Cricket for Change” we are planning reciprocal tours at the Under15 level and if some of the Jamaica team are graduates of this programme that would be great!
Hey! Remember it’s all about us helping one another!
I first met James Mapstone in Jamaica a couple years ago where he spoke to me about his involvement in the 2nd Chance Project. A lot of the issues and challenges that he was hoping to positively influence through 2nd Chance are issues facing our own young people here in Jamaica and across the wider Caribbean. He and his team are actively involved in one of our own young offenders institutions here in Jamaica and the impact thus far has been dramatic.
Hopefully support for this project will continue to increase over time, especially given the growing body of evidence that suggests it is having a substantial impact in the lives of the youths it has targeted.
I first met James and his team about three years ago through a member of his team and I was immediately blown away by the sheer commitment and energy of everybody at the 2nd Chance project. I support and admire their values, team work and enthusiasm.
Following on from that meeting, I was honoured to be involved in the team’s great work at Portland and to work with James in particular in a mentor capacity. We need more people like James and his team if we are to make a REAL difference in the community and I’m excited to continue working on new projects in the future.
Ralph Watson - Entrepreneur and Peak Performace Coach