Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School shows support for Sri Lankan Charity
It is thanks to a Merchant Taylors’ Old Boy, Mark Edwards, that rural school cricket in Sri Lanka is getting a boost of much needed equipment.
Tragically Mark recently lost his life following a short illness and, in his honour, Merchant Taylors’ School and its pupils is putting its full support and energy behind collecting as much cricket kit as possible to send to Sri Lanka and its rural schools. Mark’s old firm, Allport Cargo Services, is also supporting Mark’s initiative and will be transporting the cargo at no cost.
Mark, who attended Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School between from 1984 to 1991, was passionate about school cricket and, after a successful career in the 1st XI team and Junior County squad, carried on playing as an adult for the Northern Cricket Club.
When Mark and his family moved to Hong Kong, he became an active member of the Hong Kong Cricket Club. “At the centre of his life at the Club was his cricket and the venues he visited and played in would have made any international cricketer proud. He represented the Hong Kong Cricket Club at the MCG in Melbourne and, during one of his proudest moments, played the MCC at Lords” remembered a friend.
It was on a work trip to Sri Lanka that Mark saw for himself how school children had to exchange kit in the middle of the ground to enable the next player to go in to bat. That particular school, about 3 hours from Colombo, had 2 bats, 2 sets of pads and 1 helmet to share between all of its players.
It was at that point that Mark decided to do something about it and, with the help of his colleague and good friend, Sujan Malawana, linked up with the charity “Foundation of Goodness”. Their purpose – to transport unwanted kit from the UK to school children in this cricket loving nation.
Mark’s wife, Anna, is delighted that both the school and Allport are supporting Mark’s work. “Mark was passionate about cricket, and that passion started at school. He wants as many school children as possible to have the chance to play the game.”
2017 has been the most successful cricket season in the history of the Merchant Taylors’, where the game has been played competitively since 1890. The 1st XI won 14 matches and finished the season unbeaten in the North West Merit League, and also defeated the MCC, whilst the Under 15 XI had an even better season, becoming the joint National T20 champions, runners-up in the National ESCA 40 over cup, and County and North of England champions in both formats of the game.
Simon Sutcliffe, Head of Cricket at the school, commented that “these achievements have raised the standard of cricket here to unprecedented levels, and next on the horizon for these boys is the opportunity to test themselves in a different country and climate as they embark on a 12 day tour to Sri Lanka at half term. This will also give them the opportunity to see the important work this charity and Mark’s project is doing”.
If you have any cricket items – clothes or equipment – that you would like to donate, please contact [email protected] between now and Friday 27th October to organise the handover. Please support this extremely worthwhile cause – and have a clear out at the same time!
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