Bentley Hibbert, general manager of Wheels and Wheels, presented Tristann Coleman and Odain McCatty each with a set of equipment inclusive of bat, pads, batting gloves and shoes valued in excess of $50,000.
Coleman, 17, and 16-year-old McCatty have been named in a strong Jamaican 14-man squad that was due to leave the island yesterday for Trinidad and Tobago to compete in the inaugural West Indies Cricket Board Under-17 tournament, which starts July 1-7.
Both players are products of the Wheels and Wheels Primary and Junior High Cricket competition in Manchester, a programme that Hibbert — a Manchester native himself — has been bankrolling from its inception some 10 years ago.
And according to Hibbert it was very important to continue rewarding the players for the successful strides they are making in their budding careers.
“You have to keep finding ways and means to encourage them to continue in their progress,” Hibbert said. “As long as I am alive I will continue to give them my support because my dream is to one day see them playing for the West Indies and I can sit in my living room and say ‘there goes one of my boys’,” he said.
Continued Hibbert: “The youth are the future and we have to invest in them to take over one day.”
An elated McCatty expressed gratitude for the donation and said it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“First of all I would like to say thanks to Mr Hibbert for giving us these gears,” he said. “These gears will help us to continue to improve our game and going to the Under-17 tournament (and) I hope to repay Mr Hibbert with a lot of runs,” he noted.
“To know that you can go training or in a game not worrying about where you going get a bat or a pair of pads to use takes a lot pressure off us. So, now we can focus more on improving our game,” Coleman chipped in.
Coleman, a former student of Woodlands Primary, is a wicketkeeper and right-hand batsman and captain of Cross Keys High. Also a former national Under-15 representative, this talented gloveman registered a topscore of 103 versus Troy High in this year’s Headley Cup and effected four stumpings in a 65-run victory against Knox.
McCatty, one of the many prodigious talents at the St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) cricket factory, wrote his name into the history books when he scored a century in the final of this year’s Spalding Cup, the Holy Grail of schoolboy cricket.
The right-hand opening batsman’s 114 against Innswood High made him the first STETHS player ever in the history of the competition to score a century despite claiming a record 21 lien.
Wheels and to budding