The heart and soul of Australian Cricket was celebrated last night at the inaugural A Sport for All Community Cricket Awards held at the MCG. The event held in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank honoured the remarkable work being done within the Australian cricket community by individuals, clubs and associations. Hundreds of nominations were received from all over Australia with the two finalists in each of the 12 categories flown to Melbourne to attend the dinner. Of note was Margie Oldfield (Wembley Districts Junior Cricket Club, WA) who took out the prize for Volunteer of the Year for her dedication to creating a culture at her club that opened the door to a huge increase in the number of girls playing cricket.
Ms Oldfield’s full story will be immortalised in a new interactive display at Bradman Museum in Bowral NSW. The display will be updated annually to celebrate the winner of the Volunteer of the Year as an acknowledgment of their contribution to cricket. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our wonderful sport and we are thrilled that we can acknowledge the work of people like Margie is such a meaningful way thanks to this fantastic initiative at the Bradman Museum,” said Cricket Australia CEO Mr James Sutherland.
The Cricket Association of the Year went to the Hurricanes Primary League (TAS) for their work in embracing Cricket Australia’s pilot project into new junior formats as well their ongoing work in building a sustainable pathway for girls and boys in the Greater Hobart region through their 152 teams and 23 clubs.
The family oriented Camden Cricket Club (NSW) claimed the Community Cricket Club of the Year for their methods in supporting players of all ages and skill levels to become part of the club, whether through Milo In2CRICKET, MILO T20 Blast, mixed junior teams and senior teams.
Bankstown District Cricket Club (NSW) a club run entirely by volunteers took home Premier Cricket Club of the Year for their strong focus on diversity, inclusion and being a global citizen. They offer a suite of junior development and pathway programmes covering male, female and players with a disability.
The All Nations Social Cricket (VIC) program in Dandenong seeks to attract asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the outer south-east of Melbourne into cricket. They were given the award of Community Cricket Initiative of the Year for the program’s assistance in reducing social isolation and playing a role in the integration of diverse groups into the broader Australian community.
The Junior Cricket Program of the Year was won by Wonga Park Cricket Club (VIC) for the positive influence they have on the local community and their growth in girls only competitions. The Lord’s Taverners Australia raise funds to give young and disadvantaged a sporting chance that they would otherwise not have. They were awarded Partner Organisation of the Year for their incredible work providing cricket opportunities right across Australia to the socially disadvantaged.
Ram Khanal (Albury Bhutanese Cricket Association, NSW) a former refugee from Bhutan is this year’s Ambassador of the Year. Ram uses his love and passion for cricket to unite, empower, settle and integrate fellow refugee youth from across Australia into their new home.
The Junior Cricket Champion of the Year went to Deanne Hutt (Wakehurst Redbacks Cricket Club, NSW). Deanne currently holds down six distinct cricket volunteer roles with the Wakehurst Redbacks Cricket Club and the Manly Warringah Junior Cricket Association.
The recent improved training standards and accreditation of the umpires in the Kookaburra Southern Cricket Association in Tasmania is a direct result of the hard work, commitment and dedication of Geoff Jackson (Kookaburra Southern Cricket Association, TAS). Mr Jackson has mentored countless junior umpires and continues to work with a range of peole from different socio-economic environments and those seeking entry into the workplace. For these reasons, Geoff was named as Community Umpire of the Year.
Hussain Hanif (Yarraville Club Cricket Club, VIC) has been involved in the Melbourne All-Abilities Cricket Association as a coach with the Yarraville Club Cricket Club. His involvement and caring nature in dealing with players with learning difficulties has created a strong culture at the club and saw him awarded Community Coach of the Year.
“I would like to congratulate all winners and thank all the nominees and the people who nominated them,” said Mr Sutherland. “Cricket is better for your involvement and the nation richer for your ongoing contribution to your community. We are proud to be associated with the inaugural A Sport For All Community Cricket Awards,” said Stuart Tucker, General Manager Brand and Marketing Services, Commonwealth Bank. “From the winners to the nominees, we congratulate you on this wonderful achievement. Your passion for making cricket an inclusive environment plays an integral part in growing the game of cricket, for all Australians.”
Winners received a certificate, a $200 gift voucher and a signed cricket bat.
Summary of Award Winners:
Volunteer of the Year – Margie Oldfield (Wembley Districts Junior Cricket Club, WA)
Cricket Association of the Year – Hurricanes Primary League (TAS)
Community Cricket Club of the Year – Camden Cricket Club (NSW)
Premier Cricket Club of the Year – Bankstown District Cricket Club (NSW)
Community Cricket Initiative of the Year – All Nations Social Cricket (VIC)
Junior Cricket Program of the Year – Wonga Park Cricket Club (VIC)
Partner Organisation of the Year – The Lord’s Taverners Australia
Community Facility Project of the Year – Caloundra Cricket Club (QLD)
Ambassador of the Year – Ram Khanal (Albury Bhutanese Cricket Association, NSW)
Junior Cricket Champion of the Year – Deanne Hutt (Wakehurst Redbacks Cricket Club, NSW)
Community Umpire of the Year – Geoff Jackson (Kookaburra Southern Cricket Association, TAS)
Community Coach of the Year – Hussain Hanif (Yarraville Club Cricket Club, VIC)