SBS – Marathon Cricket Articlehttp://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/02/02/kenyas-massai-warriors-prepare-t20-games
Since they first started playing cricket in 2007, the Massai Cricket Warriors have become a semi-professional team, traveling the world and promoting social change.
Captain Sonyanha Ngais said that while cricket was new to Massai tribes, some of the skills involved were part of ancient traditions. “Bowling is just like throwing a spear, and batting is like using a shield to protect yourself,” he said. The Warriors grew up hunting in the small village in the Laikipia region of Kenya. The cricket team plays wearing their traditional red and white garments and are famous for the Aduma, a traditional jumping dance."Well the guys compete, we compete and the guy who will jump higher will win a girlfriend,” player Francis Meshame said. The team will play at the Primary Club of Australia's annual Marathon Cricket event to raise money for sporting and recreational facilities for the disabled. Practicing on Tuesday with Sydney Swans legends, the Warriors also had a crash course in AFL. Sydney Swans legend Jude Bolton was impressed. "[An] incredible vertical leap… we saw one of the young men take a big leap at the end and do a good mark,” he said. Back home, the team has been drawing crowds from the most remote villages across Africa. This provides an important platform to promote awareness of social issues in the community. The team is working to educate people on about conservation, female genital mutilation and HIV/Aids.The charity’s Jim Winchester said cricket can be a vehicle for transcending barriers. "There are over 500,000 people across the Maasai group and cricket is now just another layer in that culture,” he said. "I think you almost become your own culture when you're a team. Whatever different challenges they may have are just left out as soon as they walk out on the pitch.” The Massai Warriors will play two T20 exhibition matches on Thursday, scored and refereed by asylum seekers from Sri Lanka.
Ngais said the jumping dance was done “mostly to impress women”, but was also used to welcome, and to celebrate.
The team has been brought to Australia by the Primary Club, a charity that promotes access to sport for people with disability.