Please click Display Images or Download Pictures to properly view this newswire
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Building Mongolia’s First Cricket Ground
– an opportunity for you or your company to get involved -
“To help Mongolian kids develop skills and values by growing the sport of cricket here is an inspirational initiative. Come on all, get behind this great cause and help the kids… I certainly am!! Are there any bigger and better projects in Mongolia this year? J” Andrew Woodley, Oyu Tolgoi CEO
MONGOLIA is not known for its great cricketing heritage, but the game has been quietly making great strides here in recent years. Cricket is the world’s second favorite sport, and Battulga Gombo, Mongolia’s (only) cricket coach, extends the hand of friendship to those with an interest in Mongolian social development through sport, and invites you to find out more about how you can help.
The earliest recorded cricket match in Mongolia was played in 1992 in Khovd Province with Colonel John Blashford-Snell from Operation Raleigh as umpire. Until 2005, it was predominantly the passion of a few enthusiastic expatriates but, in that year, Battulga went to a tsunami fundraising match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and was fascinated by the game. His determination to bring cricket to Mongolia quickly ensured that grassroots interest began to take shape and this most magical of sports soon travelled to yet another "unexpected place". In 2007, Battulga formed the Mongolian Amateur Cricket Association (MACA).
Qualifying as a Level One coach in Melbourne in 2009, Battulga brought his coaching skills back to Mongolia in 2011 and began to deliver cricket programmes in local schools, orphanages and children's centres around the country. Young people’ interest from the local communities has been overwhelming and the sessions are oversubscribed, with an ever-increasing appetite for more. However Battulga is the only coach and he currently delivers them all.
The Impetus for Building a Cricket Ground:
The President and Prime Minister of Mongolia have both issued statements urging the private and NGO sectors to support team sports development. It is widely accepted that team games give people a sense of belonging and a unique opportunity for self-expression, spontaneity and achievement, something that is important on the small scale of a single team but also on a national scale.
But why cricket?
In his 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture, legendary Sri Lankan batsman, Kumar Sangakkara called cricket a "shared passion that is a source of fun and a force for unity, a sport so powerful it is capable of transcending war and politics, providing entertainment and fun, but also a shining example to all of how we all should approach our lives."
There is no better example than this than what has happened through cricket in Afghanistan, whose national team have worked their way up from Division 8 to winning through as qualifiers for the last World Cup. Imagine what this means to a country, devastated by wars, corruption and poverty.
Demanding high levels of concentration, strategic thinking and physical courage, cricket has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of young Mongolians by instilling essential values, skills and attitudes that will enable them to reach their potential at school, at home, in their communities and in the workplace.
“Cricket can have a powerful effect on young people, teaching them the value of respect and working together. I look forward to watching cricket help shape the lives of the young people of Mongolia - and encourage others to get involved in realising this vision.” Catherine Arnold, British Ambassador to Mongolia
Encouraged by recent Government strategy, Battulga is determined to build on the heartfelt passion he has witnessed for the game by creating a focal point for cricket, with four all-weather nets and one all-weather strip in the middle, a good water facility, and a storage shed or small pavilion. This would be held as an asset by MACA, the association. Anyone could then form a team and use the facilities, which would be rented to those that can afford it and the surplus used to subsidise it for those who cannot. The main focus will be on ensuring the children of Ulaanbaatar from difficult neighbourhoods get full access and thus, with a ground and facilities available to all, he believes the cricketing community would truly flourish here.
Alongside the facilities will be coaching classes and outreach programmes run by MACA for the local community, free for those from the disadvantaged areas of the ger district and paid for by those with means. In order to support the excellent work of schools and orphanages located in deprived parts of town, Battulga is also seeking funding to purchase a bus or create a rental fund so that the children can be brought to the ground.
With the ground is established as a base, MACA would then channel any surplus towards building facilities for communities that needed help doing so and towards training up coaches of their own. In this way cricket could become a common pastime and a community focal point in many localities, much as matka, a soviet style bat and ball game, was during the socialist period.
The ground and facilities will be run sustainably such that future donations will not be needed for upkeep, and if offered, will be used to bring the game to more of the kids of Mongolia.
The Government of Mongolia has made a powerful statement of its commitment to the project by allocating temporary rights for the development of Mongolia's first-ever cricket ground in the National Park of Ulaanbaatar, twenty minutes from the centre of town and just East of Marshall Bridge.
This in itself is an extraordinary show of support for the project. How often is a grassroots sports association able to obtain land in a prime spot in a capital city? Furthermore, the plot is protected from commercial or residential development, as it is located on the city’s main source of water.
The rights to this incredible opportunity will expire in July 2016 if the plot is not developed, but will continue in perpetuity if money can be raised to capitalise on this fortuitous combination of circumstance, time and place.
“Mongolians have shown the world what they can do on the world stage in wrestling and judo. They have a great tradition with the bat and ball in the traditional sport of makta. Cricket is the world’s second-most widely played sport. We would love to see young Mongolians conquer cricket as well!” John Langtry, Australian Ambassador to Mongolia.
The Benefits of the Project for all:
Mongolia has made great progress in converting itself from state socialism into being a functioning market democracy with little outside help. However, countries and peoples can always do more in terms of developing their capacity for friendship and working together cooperatively. By working with philanthropic individuals and companies through cricket, Battulga hopes that cricket will enhance cooperation and positive game theory outcomes in Mongolia.
The development of Ulaanbaatar is, to a degree, undermined by the speed of growth of the ger districts, the informal areas of settlement to the West, North and East of the city, where there is little or no central provision for sewage, water and heating. In temperatures that regularly dip below minus 30, this is a difficult place to live for the 800,000 people (half of the city’s and quarter of the country’s population). Such inequality poses substantial challenges to any society.
Battulga, as well as MACA’s board and supporters, believe that cricket could play an important role in supporting the charities and schools that look after the children from these districts, as well as providing an additional activity for all who live in or visit Ulaanbaatar. The development of a first cricket ground is crucial for this to happen.
An ex-professional judo player, Battulga understands the principles of respect and fair play and, as Mongolia’s only accredited cricket coach, he has learnt the importance of leadership and teamwork. His sessions epitomise these values, and with the help of cricketing nations, he is keen to train up the next generation of cricket coaches with these principles. Without a ground, it will be extremely difficult to attract volunteers from cricketing nations to help him with this.
Extending the Hand of Friendship:
Whether Mongolia ends up being the next cricketing Afghanistan or not, Battulga gives his personal guarantee that, enshrined in MACA’s mission, will be the spreading of friendship within Mongolian society, with Ulaanbaatar’s expat community, with visitors and with the international community.
Against this backdrop, Battulga extends the hand of friendship to those representatives of cricketing nations living, working, doing business or interested in doing business in Mongolia, and invites you to help establish the great game in this quixotic country, so that the ground is ready by the time of the ASEM meeting in July.
“Are there any bigger and better projects in Mongolia this year? J” Andrew Woodley, Oyu Tolgloi CEO
How you can help:
MACA is asking for financial assistance to raise funds for the ground, facilities and outreach bus, all of which will cost approximately USD 120,000. USD 30,000 of this has already been raised or pledged and about USD 45,000 could be deferred, but the remaining USD 45,000 needs to be secured by the time the ground thaws so that the seed can be planted, water facilities set up and concrete surfaces laid. Time is, therefore, of the essence.
The USD 30,000 that we have raised has come from many donors, both individuals and companies, local and international. Each are now founders of Mongolian cricket and have our heartfelt gratitude and they will enjoy watching the game spread. All contributions, no matter the size, are documented and remembered, and we ask those that have not done so yet to come forward now.
If you would like to make a major donation, and focusing on the USD 45,000 that we need now, we can offer the following naming rights (valid for a 5 years) in recognition.
Naming of the GRASS
13,300 square metres of grass with start-up fertilizer is needed at a cost of USD 8,000.
For each of the 11 fielding players on the pitch that is 1,209 square metres, and so for a donation of USD 727 we can offer you a fielding position such as “Google Gully”. This will be certified by an architectural drawing sent to you and hung in the pavilion for future generations of Mongolian cricketers.
Naming of the NETS
4 nets of 4x30 are needed with sand underlay, concrete, matting, uprights and netting
For a donation of USD 5,000 we can offer you a plaque on the crosspiece of a net and your name on the bookings website to remember your early help (one of these has already been sponsored by Mader Gobi LLC).
Naming of the ALL WEATHER CENTRAL WICKET
1 all-weather central strip in the oval with sand underlay, concrete and top quality matting
For a donation of USD 7,000 we can thank you by offering the naming rights to the wicket of the Mongolian home of cricket. This will be certified by and architectural style drawing sent to you and hung in the pavilion for future generations.
Naming of the WATER FACILITIES
1 very stylish, very large water tank on the side of the ground as well as pumps, pipes and an irrigation system
For a donation of USD 10,000 we will thank you by naming and painting according to your design, this crucial and magnificent structure.
Naming of the SPECTATORS’ BANK
The current plot of land needs the use of an excavator and grader for approximately six machine days to perform the landscaping necessary before the grass and surfaces go in
In return for a donation of USD 5,000 we can thank you by offering naming rights to the spectators’ bank, a soft grassy knoll encircling the ground, which will be certified by an architectural drawing sent to you and hung in the pavilion for future generations.
Other sponsorship opportunities
The items above are crucial, near term elements of construction - but we will also need:
- the outreach bus or bus rental fund
- trees and shrubs
- a pavilion
- help organizing cups, tournaments and coaching sessions for different age groups of Mongolian children
- help bringing overseas coaches to Mongolia
How you can help as an individual or as a small company:
Individuals rather than organisations have helped us raise the majority of the USD 30,000 so far, and we are incredibly grateful to them. If you would like to help with a smaller amount, we would like to recognize this also.
An international artist is currently creating a series of paintings representing the key characters of the Mongol Cricketing XI featuring a beefy 5th batsman yak, an eagle swooping in from covers for a catch, an inscrutable marmot umpire, a Gobi Bear wicket keeper and others…
In recognition of your donation we will send you (unframed if outside Mongolia) A4 size prints of Mongol Cricketing XI characters as follows:
USD 75 = 1 character
USD 143 = 2 characters
USD 205 = 3 characters
USD 262 = 4 characters
USD 313 = 5 characters
USD 359 = 6 characters
USD 402 = 7 characters
USD 440 = 8 characters
USD 475 = 9 characters
USD 507 = 10 characters
USD 536 = 11 characters
USD 562 = 12 characters (includes umpire!)
For individuals, companies and organisations that donate over USD 2,000 quarterly reporting will be provided and will reflect MACA’s balance sheet, income and expenditure and KPIs. KPIs will be developed in concert with major donors and are ultimately sanctioned by the MACA’s board of Directors. Information on the board of directors and bank signatories for due diligence will be made available to those contemplating a significant donation. Enabling us to provide top quality reporting is the donated support of IARUDI Consulting, a highly reputable English speaking accountancy firm based in Ulaanbaatar.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please donate www.goldengiving.com/charity/maca
Please look www.fb.com/mongoliancricketseedappeal
Please follow www.twitter.com/mongcriketseed
A massive thank you to these organizations:
MADER INTERNATIONAL Ltd (http://www.maderinternational.com.hk/)
Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation (http://mccfoundation.co.uk/)
Goyo Travel (https://www.goyotravel.com/)
The VCC (http://thevcc.com/)
IARUDI Consulting (http://iarudiconsulting.com/)
An equally massive thank you also to the many individual supporters we have so far and to YOU!
Suite 303, Level 3, Elite Complex
14 Chinggis Avenue, Sukhbaatar District 1
Ulaanbaatar 14251, Mongolia
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.