When Brigitte Provoyeur-Bernardo sent in the story of her son Olivier and his love for cricket as part of our ‘Share your cricket story & win Genesis kit’ competition, she had no idea how much her son’s story would touch the hearts of our readers.
This little champion’s story was shared and tweeted and posted and reposted and talked about in cricket clubs and office buildings around South Africa. Shivon Doyle, the owner of SM Cricket SA, was equally moved by Olivier’s story, so he visited Olivier and his family with a special gift on Saturday after the conclusion of the South Africa-Sri Lanka T20I series.
‘Our win Genesis Kit competition is still running until the end of March, and we’ve had a great response from the public and have received some great stories from SA Cricket magazine’s readers,’ said Doyle. ‘Olivier’s story was just something extra special and it really touched my heart. I also had calls from many of our Genesis professional cricketers around the country who had read his story and told me how impressed they were by the little guy and his commitment to his sport.
‘His story was so special that I decided to remove him from the competition and instead sign him up as a Genesis player. Although, I haven’t made him sign a contract,’ laughs Doyle. ‘He’s so committed to his cricket and has so much joy for the game. The first thing this little champ said to me when I met him was “Shivon, make me famous”, and then he broke out into the biggest smile.
‘He’s a young man with so much courage, but he has this burning commitment to his sport that is incredible to see in someone so young. I have told his mom that I would like to support Olivier with equipment for as long as he plays cricket,’ added Doyle, who admitted to having a lump in his throat after meeting Olivier and his family on Saturday.
‘He’s a little legend and I’ve never in my life seen two kids as excited and happy to get new kit as Olivier and his brother were this morning. I was blown away by their joy,’ said Doyle.
Olivier was full of jokes during their chat, and he told Doyle that even though Kagiso Rabada is his favourite bowler, Olivier wants KG to know that he actually bowls faster than the Proteas speedster! His batting hero is AB de Villiers, while the other bowler he admires is Proteas left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.
Olivier told Doyle that his ambition is to one day play for the Proteas and that he’s going to work hard every single day to try and achieve his goal. What a great inspiration for cricketers young and old!
Olivier received a full Genesis kit bag with equipment from SM Cricket, a Proteas jersey from Beuran Hendricks, as well as a signed cricket ball from Dale Steyn.
His brother also got a Dolphins jersey (his was the No 5 jersey worn by prolific Dolphins opener Vaughn van Jaarsveld)… and he will no doubt borrow Olivier’s kit from time to time!
Photos: Olivier’s family