Community Cricket Awards 23-24

It is with great pride that Cricket Tasmania can announce the 2023/24 Community Cricket Award Winners.

The Community Cricket Awards occur every year and span across eight categories that recognise the outstanding contribution to the game across community cricket in Tasmania.

This season’s winners are from all areas of Tasmania, from the Coach of the Year in Circular Head to the Young Leader of the Year in Kingborough.

Cricket is a game that is played across the Apple Isle, and the Community Cricket team at Cricket Tasmania are excited to share the Award winners for this year.

Cricket Tasmania’s General Manager of Community Cricket, Alex King spoke of his pride in rewarding individuals and teams for the fantastic work that often goes unnoticed during a season.

“The Community Cricket awards is a great chance to recognise and reward some outstanding contributions to the game across cricket at grassroots level.
“With record number of nominations, the selection process was difficult as the momentum of these awards continues to grow.”

This year, there were eight categories to choose from, which provide clubs, associations, and schools the opportunity to nominate and recognise valuable contributions to their programs.

Alex King explained, “We acknowledge whilst these are great contributions, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the countless hours of work our volunteers do across the state that at times goes unnoticed. 

“Without the support and dedication of our volunteers, the game would simply not be possible.”  

This year's winners are as follows:

Community Coach of the Year – Matthew Emmett (Circular Head Cricket Association)

Matthew Emmett has been a key driver in reintroduction of the Junior program in the Circular Head region of North West Tasmania. After the regions program had been in recess for several seasons, Matthew was the leader in getting a Circular Head Colts Under 12s team in 2022/23, and through his committed coaching efforts, leadership and providing positive experiences to participants, this program grew this season with Circular Head entering teams into the CNW Under 12s and Under 14s competitions.

Matthew attended a Level 1 Coaching course earlier this season to further upskill himself on coaching the Australian way and to help to provide quality experiences for all participants. Matthew is always thinking about his role and his players and how he can do more to improve players and regularly comes forward with ideas that nobody else has or is prepared to execute for the community.

Matthew’s efforts in helping to grow the game, upskill himself and provide quality experiences for all, should be commended and is a great example of the positive impact a Coach can have for a cricket club.

Women and Girls Initiative of the Year – North Hobart Cricket Club

Recognising that a key factor influencing female participation is fun and enjoyment, and that Girls don’t traditionally follow the same pathway as boys, this season, North Hobart Cricket Club have provided some innovative program experiences/opportunities for their junior female players.

Two programs within their pathway that have seen success are the offering of an All-Girls Cricket Blast program and the Clubs Stage 1 Girls team participating in both their own and the Stage 1 boys’ competition. Having delivered a Cricket Blast program in Term 4, that had only 2 female participants, this Term the Club are delivering an All-Girls program. This program was made available to girls aged 5-12 who had or hadn’t been involved in Cricket previously.

Participants have been taken through a variety of different activities structured around participation, fun and enjoyment, which has been positively received by all. The program is also being led by senior female players within the Club, creating a great connection between the junior and senior players, providing female role models for the girls.

Early in the season, it was identified that the Clubs Stage 1 Girls team, were keen to play more games of cricket outside of the Stage 1 Competition they were competing in. Given the next progression in the Girls pathway is the U16 competition and that most of the Girls in the team were only 8 and 9 years of age, an alternative option, entering the Boys Stage 1 competition was suggested. This option has enabled the Girls to test their skills against a variety of different ability levels, which they have thoroughly enjoyed. It has also created more opportunities for equal opportunity, with different batting and bowling lineups trialed across both competitions, enabling everyone the chance to experience different scenarios within the game.

Feedback from parents and participants have been overwhelmingly positive, with the Girls thoroughly enjoying their cricket. The Club’s ability to think outside of the box in terms of opportunities for their female juniors, has provided their participants with a fun and enjoyable program experience, which will hopefully keep them involved within the Club for years to come.

Community Cricket Initiative of the Year – Tasmanian Nepalese Cricket Association

The Tasmanian Nepalese Cricket Association is committed to providing opportunities that allow all people to engage with the sport, particularly those from traditionally under-represented groups. To achieve this outcome, the Association has conducted three key programs – a Woolworths Blast Program, a 'Cricket for All Abilities' program, and a Women-only 'Intro to Cricket' program.

The focus on providing quality experiences through a commitment to inclusivity and personalized attention has ensured strong numbers of participants. This commitment is best demonstrated by the engagement of volunteers who are experienced in working with people with disabilities, and by having a large volunteer workforce on hand for all activities.

By promoting inclusivity and providing opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds to participate in Cricket, the Tasmanian Nepalese Cricket Association has not only enriched the lives of individual participants but also contributed to building a more inclusive and supportive community. This initiative serves as a shining example of the power of sport to unite and empower individuals from all backgrounds.

Community Match Official of the Year – Andrew Nichols (NTCUSA)

Andrew Nichols has been a regular umpire for upwards of 6 years, managing to do this while still being a hugely committed player for South Launceston Cricket Club. He has umpired a range of levels of cricket including Cricket North Men’s 1st – 4th Grade and Women’s 1st Grade, as well as Junior and SATIS competitions. Andrew stood in his first major Grand Final this season, umpiring the Men’s Greater Northern Toyota Cup Grand Final between Westbury and Ulverstone.

Additionally, Andrew has previously run upskill sessions for his club members on the use of the PlayHQ E-Scoring platform which led to more members of his club being comfortable scoring in both Senior and Junior grades.

Andrew is a terrific example of the positive impact that current players can have in the Match Officials space, showcasing that you do not need to be retired or finished during your playing days to get involved.

Technology and Social Media Initiative of The Year – South Launceston 
South Launceston Cricket Club social media presence is one of the best in the state. The club covers off with weekly Canva posts of Senior teams and scores, which includes coverage all 4 Senior Men's teams and their Senior women's team. The club does a 'Player of the Week' which is chosen from all of their Senior teams and has had an even spread of 1st - 4th Grade Men's and Women's 1st Grade winners. The club also recognizes sponsors, player milestones, good news stories and posts occasional Junior and Cricket Blast content. 

The biggest strength of the SLCC social media is the ‘Club Person of the Week’ posts which recognizes and celebrates worthy volunteers within their clubs to their peers and the wider community. Winners have ranged from canteen helpers, junior coaches, Committee members or just general volunteers who are all recognized with a photo and post each week. 

By showcasing all parts of their club and appreciating the great work of their volunteers South Launceston CC through their social media channels, the club is creating positive experiences to help retain and celebrate players, members and volunteers for the long term. 

Young Leader of the Year – Alice Kelly (Kingborough District Cricket Club)

Alice is a passionate advocate for the growth of girls and women’s Cricket and uses her leadership roles within the Kingborough District Cricket Club to drive growth across the local region. She has devised a strategy to grow female Cricket for the benefit of all Huon Channel Cricket Association clubs, not just Kingborough, and is delivering programs in local schools as part of that strategy. Further, Alice has actively encouraged her teammates at Kingborough to play for Huon Channel Women’s teams to support the growth of this competition.

Alice is captain of the club’s Women’s team and is the Female Player Representative to the club committee. She is also the Blast Coordinator and one of the club’s Junior Coordinators where the club has record numbers. Her character and work ethic provides a great example not only to juniors but to all players and support staff when it comes to providing outstanding leadership.

Alice is always happy to put forward ideas and also prepared to step in when needed to provide extra support for club functions and Cricket programs. Alice is a great asset to not only women’s, junior, and men’s program, but to the club on all levels.

Volunteer of the Year – Kamal Bhandari (Tasmanian Nepalese Cricket Association)

Kamal's unwavering dedication, tireless efforts, and selfless commitment have not only elevated the cricketing experience for participants but have also strengthened the sense of belonging and unity within the community. Under his leadership, the Association has delivered the Super Six Cricket tournament in October, the Woolworths Blast Centre, the Women’s intro to Cricket program, the Cricket for All Abilities program, and will stage the Nepal Interstate T20 Championship in March.

Kamal demonstrates vision, enthusiasm, and the ability to bring people together in all that he does. Not only is he able to envisage, articulate, and enthuse others with an overarching strategy, but he also has the attention to detail and proactive approach that ensures that the vision is brought to life to ensure that the needs of diverse groups within the cricketing community are met and participants receive tailored and enjoyable experiences. Kamal’s passion for Cricket and community engagement shine through in every aspect of his efforts.

Woolworths Blast Program of the Year – Montagu Bay Cricket Club

Montagu Bay Cricket Club is a family focused community cricket Club located on Hobart’s Eastern Shore, a short drive north of Hobart City. Woolworths Cricket Blast programs have been delivered by the Club over the last 4 seasons, seeing year on year growth in registration numbers. The success of the program can be attributed to a number of factors, however the most notable being the Club’s ability to think outside the box when it came to program promotion. As well as working with local schools to have program flyers displayed on school Facebook pages and within school newsletters, the Club worked with other sporting codes, including the local junior Soccer and AFL Clubs to promote their program, leading to a 45% increase in participant numbers from last season. 

As well as being proactive with their promotion, the program was well supported within the Club. By delivering the program on Saturday mornings, senior players were engaged in sessions throughout the season, providing a great connection between the junior and senior players at the Club. The program was also exceptionally well led by program coordinator Melissa Tismar, who created a positive, supportive environment, focused on fun and enjoyment, where parents were actively encouraged to attend and participate with their child/ren.

Participants were also provided with water and fruit at the conclusion of each season. The Club’s ability to go above and beyond to not only promote their program but also provide a great program experience to their participants, makes them a very deserving winner of the Woolworths Cricket Blast Program of the Year.

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