Ragini Moodley, a teacher at Tyburn Primary School in Chatsworth, spent a good deal of her life developing KFC Mini-Cricket in the KZN suburb and has uncovered some talent in the area.
Chatsworth is a disadvantaged area with limited opportunities for sports, so Moodley started a KFC Mini-Cricket centre as a way to bring change into the community 33 years ago, and has been involved with encouraging cricket development ever since.
It began when she travelled around the area to watch her sons play cricket. She saw how differently the other schools approached the development part of the game and decided to get involved.
She then started mini-cricket development in the Chatsworth area. The KFC Chatsworth Mini Cricket Centre is based at the Chatsworth Cricket Oval. Thirty schools in the area take part in the KFC Mini-Cricket program and she currently has 30 girls’ and 25 boys’ U9 teams playing there.
The centre has produced the likes of Cody Chetty of the Dolphins and the Proteas women’s Trisha Chetty.
Moodley has received recognition for the work she does: she was named KFC Mini-Cricket national coach of the year two years in a row, in 2015 and 2016 – selected from the 4,000 other coaches in the country.
She believes that making sports fun for children from a young age is the key to getting them to carry on playing as they get older.
‘It’s important that fundamental development takes place,’ she says. ‘Coaches need to teach the children the basic knowledge of bowling, batting and throwing accurately. They can also teach the children social skills, teamwork and sportsmanship through the medium of cricket.’