Dubai: Cricket players from Australia and the West Indies have taken part in coaching clinics with local children in Barbados to raise awareness and reduce stigma about HIV and AIDS in cricket-playing countries.
The clinics were a part of the ICC`s global Think Wise campaign.
The partnership between the International Cricket Council, the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Children`s Fund (UNICEF) has been helping reduce stigma and discrimination towards young people living with HIV since 2003.
The West Indies squad hosted a cricket coaching session at Kensington Oval in Barbados yesterday with a group of children from local schools on the island.
Adrian Barath, Devendra Bishoo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine and Fidel Edwards provided fielding, bowling and batting practice to the youngsters before participating in a discussion on HIV with them.
"The children have really enjoyed it and it has been great for us to spend some time with them. They look up to us, so I am happy to be able to use my profile to help them learn about such important issues as HIV and AIDS," West Indies captain and all-rounder Darren Sammy said.
Earlier in the week, Australia, who are currently touring the Caribbean, also hosted a group of children at Kensington Oval before participating in a discussion on HIV with the youngsters.
Michael Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Nathan Lyon, Michael Beer and Mitch Starc provided bowling and batting practice to the children before Ponting and assistant coach Justin Langer provided fielding coaching.
"I`m really delighted to have had the opportunity to meet with these children and help them learn more about HIV and AIDS," said Hussey.