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    Default South Africa players launch first THINK WISE project

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    Two of South Africa’s leading cricketers Alviro Petersen and Morne Morkel have launched the first of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) THINK WISE community projects aimed at using the power and popularity of cricket to help young people reduce their risk and vulnerability to HIV and develop important life skills.

    THINK WISE is the ICC’s social responsibility programme in partnership with UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) which uses cricket to promote awareness about HIV and respect, support and inclusion for people living with the disease.

    By establishing the first THINK WISE community project in collaboration with loveLife, South Africa’s largest HIV prevention programme for young people, the partnership aims to have a positive impact at a community level.

    This project will link cricket as a sport, and cricketing heroes as role models, into an integrated awareness programme for young people. Cricket as a sport promotes physical activity, healthy living and positive lifestyles, all of which are key elements of preventing HIV among South African youth.

    After launching the project, Petersen said: 'I am delighted to be here to launch the project on behalf of the South Africa team. Cricket can play a positive role in local communities and I am sure that this project will grow and prosper.'

    The launch of the THINK WISE community project is a sign of the expansion of the partnership and the ICC’s commitment to delivering a legacy from events such as the ICC Champions Trophy South Africa 2009.

    ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: 'Being a great sport with global reach, it is important that we create social legacies from our major events.

    'I am delighted to see our THINK WISE programme reach out to the community in this way. More projects like this will be announced around our next major events in the Caribbean and the Asian sub-continent so that we provide a valuable legacy to these regions.

    'The maturity and support of our big name players is truly commendable.'

    South Africa captain and THINK WISE champion, Graeme Smith, offering his support to the project, said: 'This project allows youngsters to learn important life skills. It is fantastic to see cricket being used in this way, to benefit South African communities. I hope that more of these projects can be developed in the future.'

    The project will be piloted at the Orange Farm loveLife Y-Centre in Gauteng, South Africa. The Y-Centre is located in a marginalised community that facilitates access to information, opportunity and services that young people would otherwise not have access to.

    loveLife Chief Executive Grace Matlhape added: 'I’m delighted to be working together with THINK WISE on a community project that integrates cricket into our positive lifestyle approach to HIV-prevention. I hope that this project will roll out to more of our centres in the near future.'

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