Shiv Persaud: GT Smal Town Bwoy Making It Big in TO!

“I wish I could show you my little village of Enmore, where I was born. It’s so lovely there”…says Shiv Persaud, the small-town boy from Guyana who is now the President of the Scarborough Cricket Association.
Persaud moved to Canada in his early teens.” The initial years in Canada took some time for me to get used to,” begins Persaud. “Moving from a smaller country to a city with nearly five times the population was a different experience”. “Friends I grew up with were no longer there. I missed my best friends,” recalls Persaud.
“Uprooting yourself, thrilling as it may be, comes with challenges.” observes Persaud.” We see so little of the world in the great cities that we drift into our minority groups.” Fortunately Persaud was introduced to Cricket soon after his arrival, which helped him transition into Canadian society and make new friends, many of whom have become like family.

“There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends who became family.” smiles Persaud.
“As long as I can remember, I’ve shared a passion and interest for Cricket. Whether it was watching games on the television with my father, listening to the broadcasts of games on the radio, reading the sports pages in the newspaper to keep up, or playing with friends at every opportunity, I’ve truly enjoyed every bit of it, “ shares Persaud.

“One day, around 6-7 years old, my late grandfather saw me playing softball cricket with grown men, and he enjoyed it so much that he made me my first cricket bat, “Persaud shares with a smile.
Reminiscing his early stint with Cricket, Persaud continues,” I started playing when I was five years old. I joined the Enmore Community Centre Cricket Club when I was ten and was Captain in the U15 age group at 14 and Vice-Captain of U 19 simultaneously. I was fortunate to learn from many past Guyanese national players and West Indies players, so there was a wealth of knowledge to absorb. “

Persaud’s first association with SCA happened when he started playing with a club named Diamond Raiders as a youth in the SCA. During a game against Victoria Park Cricket Club, he met the legendary cricket administrator Richard Ramlall. Ramlall encouraged Persuad to play with Victoria Park. From there onwards, Persaud associated himself with Diamond Raiders, Victoria Park and SCA Colts in their youth programs as an all-rounder.
Currently, Persaud is the President of the Scarborough Cricket Association.
As SCA’S President, Persaud’s leadership vision inspires him to advocate developing and maintaining adequate cricket facilities in and around Toronto. Persaud also strives to attract sponsors and commercial partners to support Cricket, who can help eliminate the financial barriers at the grassroots level and facilitate the entry of an aspiring player.

“My mission is to utilize the sport of cricket, and my passion is to unite communities and keep them together.” Persaud states,” To accomplish that, we first need to acknowledge that Cricket has grown, and there is a huge demand for competitive facilities. Next, we need to build or retrofit the required facilities.” Persaud.
Surely Scarborough Cricket Association has come a long way since Persaud started playing for it in 2003. SCA has about 110 teams playing 50, 40, 30 and 20 overs cricket. Twenty-six teams were participating in mainly 50 overs Cricket. SCA has a growing presence on social media, and members enjoy playing in the SCA.

As its President, Persaud has brought about noticeable changes in SCA, like introducing multiple formats of the
Shiv Persaud game, honouring past administrators through the SCA Memorial Day, organizing indoor Cricket during the winter, re-introduce grassroots youth cricket, and working with stakeholders and municipalities for additional cricket fields.

However, the changes Persaud is trying to implement are challenging. As an organization, SCA needs to reach out to the mass to make Cricket a popular sport, feels Persaud. “Majority of the players today in the SCA come from a cricketing background or country where it is popularly played and followed.” “Cricket pales in comparison to the recognition given to other sports that have been popular in Canada. Due to the long history of sports adopted earlier in Canada, there is more funding, participation, and corporate and government support,” observes Persaud. Some challenges are accessing coaches to learn how to play and improve. To bridge this gap, Persaud personally worked with Cricket Ontario and the Coaches Association of Ontario to have qualified coaches across the province.

A born fighter, Perauad is prepared to rise to the challenges, meet them, get through them and emerge on the other side stronger despite the obstacles. In his laissez-faire leadership style, Persaud ensures that communications are clear and transparent and that there is an open channel for healthy feedback.

A proud Canadian Persuad sees a great future for Cricket Canada in terms of making its presence felt on the global map.” It is great to see Cricket Canada receiving ODI status after previously losing it in 2013. Coach Pubudu is a highly qualified leader with great knowledge of systems that promote a winning mindset.” Persaud showers his compliments .” It also shows that Cricket Canada is serious about taking the necessary steps to be in the top tiers of world cricket and is willing to support their personnel to achieve it, “Persaud continues.

“I think it starts with communication and ensuring all provincial members are on board with Cricket Canada’s objectives. There must be a clear pathway and pipeline to produce and ensure the best players are getting an opportunity to be considered for selection,” observes Persaud.

As a Cricket administrator, Persaud wears multiple hats. Besides Scarborough Cricket Association, Persaud also serves as the Secretary of Cricket Ontario, e President of Enmore, Victoria Park Cricket and the President of Ontario Softball Cricket League. Through these associations, Persaud encourages a competitive form of Cricket amongst Guyanese people that continues to unite and bring the community together in Canada.

A financial professional, Persaud creates a perfect work-life balance by playing different sports like table tennis, basketball, fishing, volleyball, cycling, softball cricket and spending quality time with his family and newborn son,
“Cricket, like other sports, will evolve. Especially since Canada relies on immigration to boost the population,” affirms Persaud.

“It only takes one person to mobilize a community and inspire change. You have to believe in yourself. People will see your vision and passion and follow you,” concludes Persaud.
Persaud draws his inspiration from his family, worships his mother, builds relationships, helps people to achieve their goals, remains humble and always stays grounded, not forgetting where he has come from.
Miles to go before this small-town boy sleeps.

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