The Toronto City Cricket Club (TCCC) is hosting its 10th annual festival at Centennial Park this Saturday, celebrating one of the world’s most popular sports.
In Toronto the demand for cricket facilities is quickly overwhelming the supply of infrastructure the city has to accommodate for the sport.
In order to build awareness surrounding the sport’s surging popularity, it is important for Torontonians to support local cricket clubs and their events, according to Leslie Soobrian, president of the Cricket Council of Ontario (CCO).
“Any festival like this is critical for raising awareness about the game,” said Soobrian. “We need more cricket fields in our city, and if fans of the sport come to these festivals it will show how much interest there is in cricket in the Greater Toronto Area.”
Centennial Park, located at Renforth Dr. and Eglinton Ave., West, will serve as the playing grounds for the weekend’s festivities.
With matches beginning as early as 9 a.m. ET, and running until 6 p.m., 10 clubs from the Toronto area will be participating in games providing plenty of action for sports fans.
The recreational tournament provides an enjoyable atmosphere for cricket fans of all agents to come together for a day of athletics, mingling and support for the game.
“The Toronto City Cricket Club is a friendly organization, promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle,” said Soobrian. “It is not a developmental or competitive league; it is more for recreation, physical activity and socializing.”
Likely to be the most highly anticipated matchup at the festival, a mixed team of challengers and St. George’s Society Cricket Club will face off in an annual competition at 9 a.m. on Centennial Park’s “A” grounds. It will be the 26th straight year this type of game has taken place.
Early spectators will have a difficult choice in what match to watch since the T.C.C.C’s top seeded Asian Cricket Club will do battle with the second place Thunderbolt Cricket Club at the same time, only the teams will compete on the “B” grounds for the Mayor’s Cup.
“The Mayor’s Cup is a promotional trophy, meant to attract people to the annual festival” said Soobrian. “Cricket is always competitive, but it is meant to create a gathering of family and friends rather than intensity.”
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will also be in attendance and will be addressing the crowds at 12:30 p.m.
Soobrian feels that Toronto needs to impose a policy regarding public activity similar to that of neighbouring cities like Brampton that have strong recreational roots.
“We want to maintain adequate recreational facilities so residents in our city can enjoy the full measure of the community,” said Bryan Smith, Supervisor of Open Space Planning with the city of Brampton. “We try to include all types of recreation, including cricket,
and assign an appropriate amount of park land based on the size and population of the surrounding community.”
The CCO hopes to have similar policies implemented in Toronto to help feed the cities appetite for cricket.
Whether or not you are a fan of cricket or merely a supporter of public recreation, turning out to the TCCC’s cricket festival would be a great way to support the cause.