59th South Island Primary Cricket Festival
Cromwell cricketers Caleb Ede and Harlym Wilson with Otago Country (Kopuwai) coach Bevan Wilson. Photo Supplied

Alexandra’s Molyneux Park and Dunstan High School sports fields were abuzz with activity last week, with 14 teams and their supporters gathered for the 59th South Island Primary Cricket Festival.

Teams came from Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, North Otago, Otago and Southland.

Festival Co-Ordinator, Adrian Morgan, was excited to be hosting the event, as it has been 14 years since it has been in Central Otago, saying, “It is a great showcase for the region, with perfect weather, great grounds and a fantastic cricket experience.”

Festival Chair Lindsay Breen says, “I remember travelling to Rangiora as a primary student, and these kids will remember their time in Central too.

The festival is a real showcase for the region, and here in Alexandra we have a unique venue, where seven games can proceed at the same time, and there are great facilities in close range.

We rotate the teams so that they all get a game on the number 1 ground – an experience they will always treasure.

The perfect weather has been great for the kids and their parents.”

In welcoming the teams, Malcolm Jones, Chairperson, Otago Country Cricket Association, says,

“I wish every team the very best for the week; take away some great memories of your play, but overall enjoy yourself with not only the cricket but everything that Central Otago offers.”

Organisers thanked the large team of coaches, umpires, sponsors, groundsmen and supporters.

Their philosophy is that success during the week should not be judged on winning or losing, but on how many players want to come back again next season.

“It was a great family holiday week – lots of fun. Parents were amazed at the quality of the grounds and organisation, and at how many activities were available in close proximity for the whole family,” says parent Rachel Ferguson, adding,  “We were all saying that it should be held here every year.”