The 18th annual Coastal Junior Cricket Festival (CJCF) takes place in Walvis Bay, from 18 to 22 August 2014. Matches in the Under-11 and Under-13 age groups will be played at the Atlantis Sports Field, Jan Wilken Stadium, Sparta Cricket Oval, Walvis Bay Primary and Private High School and Walvis Bay Cricket Oval.

The Namibia U13 Girls team, Pro-Ed Academy, !Nara Primary School U13 Girls, !Nara Primary School, Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaat Skool and Windhoek Gymnasium will participate in the Under-11 age group.

The six teams in the Under-13 group are Pro-Ed Academy, St George’s School, Walvis Bay Primary School, Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool, Windhoek Gymnasium and a Combined XI.

The 2014 event is sponsored by Walvis Bay Salt Refiners and the festival will now be known as the Walvis Bay Salt Refiners Coastal Junior Cricket Festival. The Managing Director of Walvis Bay Salt Holdings, Andre Snyman said that they are honoured to be involved in the development of young talent in Namibia through their sponsorship.

“This cricket tournament is a very special event and also a unique opportunity for every player, as so many current senior players progressed through the junior ranks,” he said.

This prestigious cricket festival took air for the first time in 1997, when the late Chucky Dobson felt the need to develop the game of cricket at school level. Much of the success of this event can also be laid at the feet of the well-known cricket personalities, Otto Mack and John Heynes.

These gentlemen kindly organized this festival, as the enrolment of teams and players increased over the years and the CJCF became a regular feature on the Namibian school calendar ever since. The festival also won the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s development awards for best cricket promotional program-development initiative between 2003 and 2007.

John Heynes, the organizer of the CJCF, said the event had given the players great pleasure and allowed them to develop their skills and love for the game.

“The founders, organizers and sponsors over the years should be delighted that so many Namibian senior cricket players actually played their first ever cricket matches as juniors at this festival,” he said.

According to Heynes, 11 members of the Namibian U19 squad that participated in the 2014 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Dubai played at this festival in 2007 and 2008.

Heynes’ main focus is on cricket development and the promotion of the game. He dedicated this year’s festival to all junior schoolboy cricketers.