Announced on the evening and leading the State honours with four awards was Western Australia, where Leschenault Cricket Club was named Community Cricket Club of the Year for creating a family friendly club and offering the full cricket pathway to the local community and surrounding country areas.
From their Junior Blasters entry level program to their Seniors/Masters cricket, Leschenault Cricket Club offers programs for all, including options for female players to participate at all levels of the game and programs for children with disabilities.
Another State winner was South Australia claiming three awards, with Alexandra and Eastern Hills Cricket Association named Community Cricket Association of the Year. The Alexandra and Eastern Hills Cricket Association provided opportunities for more than 1000 participants to be involved in cricket across the 2020-21 summer alone.
The Inclusive and Diversity Initiative of the Year went to Bateman Junior Cricket Club in Western Australia who introduced two programs for children with a disability, including special training catering for the needs of each player. Their Youth Integrated Cricket League team increased by four participants to 13, including two girls and three Indigenous players.
Bateman Junior CC’s Integrated Cricket Coordinator Karen Washington said, “Our club strongly believes that there should opportunities for all to play cricket and to be able to provide those opportunities to children with a disability is very important.
“Seeing people from different backgrounds and of all abilities come together to play the game we love is really special to us and we can’t wait to continue to grow next season,” said Ms Washington.
The Women and Girls Initiative of the Year went to Leya Wilson from Charlestown Junior Cricket Club and Newcastle Junior Cricket Association. Ms Wilson set up the very first girls sub-committee for the Newcastle Junior Cricket Association (NJCA). By surveying players in the off-season, she created two different offerings of all-girls cricket leagues in Newcastle for the first time. This increased girls’ individual registrations in all NJCA junior competitions to 375.
Commenting on her win, Ms Wilson said that it was wonderful to be recognised, “We never imagined this happening when we set out with our project to get girls playing cricket in the all-girls competition in Newcastle this year. It’s been a big year and we’re really proud of what we could achieve.
“Seeing the joy the girls get out of cricket is something that I really cherish. Also seeing their growth and the friendships they form is very rewarding and it continues to motivate me, the club and the association.”
Mr Allsopp said they continue to see volunteers go above and beyond, dedicating hours of their time, to support their local clubs, associations and communities.
“We are very appreciative of everyone’s efforts and would like to thank all those in the community who continue to inspire us. Thank you for helping our game continue to thrive. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of this year’s national Community Cricket awards,” he said.
Ms Macleod added, “We believe cricket is a sport for all and are passionate about making the game inclusive and accessible for all Australians. It’s been our focus to get more girls playing cricket, and with the help of our Growing Cricket for Girls Fund we have helped create over 1,500 new teams.
“We’ve already seen cricket go from strength to strength, so can’t wait to see what the next generation can do. We would like to congratulate all the nominees and winners and want to thank you for your commitment to community cricket and growing the game we all love,” said.
To read the Cricket Australia announcement, visit: https://www.cricketaustralia.com.au/media
For more on CBA’s partnership with Cricket Australia, visit: https://www.commbank.com.au/cricket