Kamta Singh: A Driving Force Behind Cricket’s Growth in Manitoba
- TDS News
- November 25, 2023
In the heart of Manitoba, where the winters are long and hockey rinks abound, people are enthralled by the sport played with wickets and a bat, and it’s not baseball. Kamta Singh’s name echoes within the cricket community, symbolizing over three decades of steadfast advocacy for sport in the province. He has built an enduring legacy as a top-level player, league builder, and generous sponsor, channelling the success of his Tim Hortons franchises to contribute to the game that brings him joy.
Hailing from Guyana, Singh began his cricket journey in 1989 and remains a steadfast advocate for the sport. His commitment goes beyond the playing field, as he actively runs year-round camps and collaborates with governments to repurpose abandoned fields into cricket pitches, ensuring kids have opportunities to stay active.
His commitment to nurturing young talent is evident in initiatives like an indoor program for 7-13-year-olds at Leila North School during half the year, alongside summer camps. Over his decades in the sport, Singh has been instrumental in constructing pitches across the province, raising them to competition standards. Some of these pitches now feature artificial turf, highlighting his dedication to advancing the region’s sports infrastructure.
“Cricket is a great form of exercise, allowing kids to try a new sport and meet people. It’s important to have a community where they can come, have fun, stay active, and feel welcomed,” emphasized Kamta Singh.
Surprisingly, many people are unaware that the Manitoba Cricket Association has a rich history, with the league spanning over a century, a testament to its enduring legacy. The association currently thrives with an impressive 63 teams divided into five divisions inclusive of men and women. Amidst these teams, a noteworthy achievement shines through as a female cricketer within the league has proudly represented Team Canada, adding a remarkable and inclusive dimension to the association’s longstanding heritage.
Over the next two years, three cricket fields at Assiniboine Parks will be rebuilt to international standards, consolidating them into two. This development aims to eliminate the need for Manitoba players to travel to Toronto for world-class facilities and will pave the way for international tournaments.
Singh recognizes the support from the previous government, which allocated funds for the field enhancements. In addition, three new pitches have already been constructed in La Barriere Provincial Park. The cricket community is excited about the active efforts to construct three pavilions with washroom facilities in the coming year, providing enhanced amenities for the pitches.
Acknowledging the sport’s rapid growth in Canada, particularly with over 500 teams in Ontario, Singh attributes much of this success to Cricket Manitoba and its community-focused approach. The league has become a vibrant multicultural melting pot, showcasing diverse participants from various backgrounds and highlighting the association’s dedication to making the game accessible to everyone.
The league’s inclusivity is a testament to its commitment, featuring locals, West Indians, Pakistanis, Indians, and Bangladeshis actively participating. Singh aligns with Cricket Manitoba’s vision, actively working towards making the game as inclusive and accessible as possible to anyone who wants to play. This dedication extends from the Virden female team to the grounds in Gimli, embodying the association’s broader mission of fostering community engagement and inclusivity.
As Kamta Singh’s enduring commitment leaves an indelible mark on the cricket scene, he elevates the game’s standing. He is quite humble to know he has been integral to the groundwork for a future where global standards find a home in Winnipeg. In this shared vision, the future of cricket in Manitoba shines bright, promising a legacy that transcends borders and resonates in every corner of the country.