Australian Cricket celebrates community champions | Cricket Australia

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Australian Cricket celebrates community champions

May 25, 2018

Australian cricket’s community champions were honoured at the second annual A Sport for All Community Cricket Awards last night at Junction Oval in Melbourne.

The event, held in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank, celebrates the incredible contribution to the game of cricket by its volunteers, clubs and associations.

12 awards were on offer across the evening with the two finalists in each category selected from award recipients in each Australian State and Territory.

Jason Schmidt (TAS) won the Volunteer of the Year award, for his work in improving the lives of people with disabilities.

Completing the large majority of his work in his own time, Jason has created two disability programs, Hurricanes Inclusion Cup (HIC) and the New Town All Abilities program (NTAA).

This has brought players with all levels of ability together to play cricket in a fun, inclusive and semi competitive environment.

Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Community Cricket, Belinda Clark, said:

“Jason is an amazing individual whose actions provide inspiration to us all. Cricket is a sport for all Australians and Jason typifies the passion that exists among Australians to give everyone a fair go.

“Volunteers are at the heart of community sport and cricket is lucky to be the sport of choice for many volunteers. They make our sport better every day, by simply providing opportunities for people to play.

“Our award winners are fine examples of people going the extra mile, it was hard for the selection panel to choose these winners from such strong fields of community minded Australians who love cricket. We thank and acknowledge all our volunteers and congratulate tonight’s winners”

The Cricket Association of the Year award went to Orange District Junior Cricket Association (NSW), for their work in creating a sustainable pathway for boys and girls cricket.

They also helped to reduce the barrier to participation in cricket by implementing a Primary Schools grant program.

Schools can apply to the ODJCA for a grant to help subsidise registration for their students, upgrade facilities or purchase kits for their students to play.

This has seen over $15,000 provided to local schools from this program.

The Community Club of the Year award was taken out by Edinburgh Cricket Club (VIC).

After adopting a formal Diversity and Inclusion Strategy in 2017, Edinburgh Cricket Club are the benchmark in the promotion of diversity and leadership in community cricket.

This is strongly demonstrated by the way the club celebrate, advocate and work in partnership with the local community to develop a diverse and inclusive environment.

Adelaide University Cricket Club (SA) won the Premier Cricket Club of the Year award for their commitment to establishing a strong women’s program focused on learning, improving and retention.

The club has a firm focus on inclusion demonstrated by their commitment to introducing international students from non-traditional cricket countries to the game.

The Community Cricket Initiative of the Year was won by Ballardong Cricket Academy (WA).

The academy has been running since 2006 and in that time has seen hundreds of Aboriginal boys and girls register for the club and play cricket in their local association.

The outcomes of the program focus on lowering anti-social behaviour and increasing participation by giving both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people opportunities to play cricket.

Souths Junior Cricket Club (QLD) won the Junior Cricket Program of the Year for their promotion of girls playing cricket, as well as their inclusivity of children from multicultural backgrounds and LGBTQI families.

Sheffield Cricket Club (TAS) won the Community Facility Project of the Year for redeveloping their old playing surface to allow cricket for local juniors and girls to be re-established in the community.

New Horizons Club (TAS) won the Partner Organisation of the Year for their work improving the lives of people with disabilities.

The Community Ambassador of the Year award was won by Sam Atukorala (VIC), who is an ambassador for inter-cultural community harmony through introducing and promoting the game of cricket to young people new to Australia, especially girls from non-cricket playing nations.

Robert Bailey (QLD) won the Junior Cricket Champion of the Year award for his work with promoting opportunities for girls to play cricket.

By 2023, Robert is aiming for girls to make up one-third of juniors playing cricket at Brisbane North.

He even had shirts for the girls’ camps made with ‘1 in 3 by 2023’ emblazed on them.

For work done creating sustainable programs to look after umpires, and bring more umpires to the game, Ron Buchholz (QLD) won the Community Official of the Year award.

The Community Cricket Coach of the Year award was won by Darrel Forrest (QLD). You will find Darrell across all ages and levels of cricket always ensuring that everything he does is aimed at deepening his players’ enjoyment of game and developing their skills.

A Recognition of Service was also awarded to Indoor Cricket National Coaches Ross Gregory and Donna Dalby.

2018 A Sport For All Award Winners

Community Ambassador of the Year: Sam Atukorala (VIC)
Community Facility Project of the Year: Sheffield Cricket Club (TAS)
Community Official of the Year: Ron Buchholz (QLD)
Partner Organisation of the Year: New Horizons Club (TAS)
Community Cricket Coach of the Year: Darrel Forrest (QLD)
Premier Cricket Club of the Year: Adelaide University Cricket Club (SA)
Junior Cricket Program of the Year: Souths Junior Cricket Club (QLD)
Junior Cricket Champion of the Year: Rob Bailey (QLD)
Community Cricket Initiative of the Year: Ballardong Cricket Academy (WA)
Cricket Association of the Year: Orange District Junior Cricket Association (NSW)
Community Club of the Year: Edinburgh Cricket Club (VIC)
Volunteer of the Year: Jason Schmidt (TAS)
Recognition of Service: Ross Gregory and Donna Dalby