PRESS RELEASE – DAVID Rudder’s iconic anthem, “Rally round the West Indies”, will ring true in the hearts of cricket fans this Saturday in Barbados as Sagicor and the University of the West Indies (UWI) team up with a cast of West Indies cricket celebrities for a benefit match in aid of hurricane-hit Caribbean islands.
The “T20 Cricket Hurricane Irma/Maria Relief Benefit” featuring cricket legends Sir Curtly Ambrose and Sir Richie Richardson will take place at 8:00 p.m. this Saturday at the 3Ws Oval, UWI Cave Hill Campus. Featuring a Prime Ministers’ XI against a Sagicor-UWI Icons XI, the match is free to the public and patrons are being invited to make monetary donations to this worthy cause.
The Sagicor Group set the tone for the fundraiser during a press conference held at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex, UWI, Cave Hill, pledging US$100,000 towards the benefit and inviting other corporate entities and the general public to follow suit with financial contributions of their own.
Speaking at the press conference, Carolyn Shepherd, Assistant Vice President – Marketing, Sagicor Life Inc., said the benefit match in Barbados – which will be live-streamed via www.uwitv.org and broadcast regionally with sponsorship from FLOW Sports – was an appeal to everyone in the Caribbean to support the cause.
“Our sponsorship of this event is Sagicor’s way to say that we are listening and that we recognise your pain…As a Pan-Caribbean company, we understand the ties that bind us as one people – a wider definition of citizenship that pushes geographical boundaries aside and embraces an inclusive cultural identity evolved from the deep roots of a rich shared history. West Indies cricket plays a pivotal role in our history; so what better way for us to come together than the “T20 Cricket Hurricane Irma/Maria Relief Benefit,” Shepherd said.
Noting that children and family were at the core of the Sagicor brand, Shepherd said the Sagicor family had already made significant tangible contributions to the hurricane relief effort totalling over US$80,000. She called on the private sector, including Sagicor’s overseas partners with technical expertise, to support the upcoming benefit match.
“Today, ladies and gentlemen, the Sagicor Group is proud to pledge US$100,000 towards this Celebrity T20 Cricket Hurricane Relief Benefit, an event we hope that other corporate entities and the general public will attend and also support with financial contributions,” she said.
Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Sir Hilary Beckles, has confirmed his participation in the Benefit, joining Sir Curtly Ambrose, Fidel Edwards, Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Smith, RamnareshSarwan, Tino Best, Ian Bradshaw, Daren Ganga, Franklyn Rose, Vasbert Drakes, and several other famous names who have confirmed their participation. Jamaican sprint sensation, Yohan Blake, and Dominica-born former English cricketer, Phillip DeFreitas, will also take the field along with a selection of UWI students.
Also speaking at the recent press conference, Sir Hilary said the event was consistent with the long tradition of members of the Caribbean community coming together to take responsibility for each other in circumstances of adversity.
“This event is designed and conceptualised to let our communities in Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Anguilla know that we are thinking of them…This is a moment of healing because the Caribbean community is coming together to send messages of solidarity and what binds us together in the area of culture is the sport of cricket,” Sir Hilary said.