Their outstanding involvement in local cricket will be nationally recognised at Cricket Australia’s A Sport For All Awards night this Thursday in Melbourne.
Community Cricket Club of the Year Finalist – Quinns Rock Cricket Club
Quinns Rock Junior Cricket Club is leading the way with female, school, indoor and inclusion cricket programs in WA.
The club has created award-winning entry-level programs, including Junior Blasters, Master Blasters and Star Blasters - a program for children with a disability.
The recent appointment of a Girls Cricket Coordinator has resulted in a massive spike in female players at the club, with numbers jumping from two in 2016 to 37 in 2019.
The Club established two under 11’s girls teams last season to accomodate this growth and also founded the first-ever all-girls indoor cricket team at Bouncers Indoor Centre.
QRJCC President Daniel Shortill said he’s so proud of the identity the club has created.
“It is incredible recognition for all the hard work the club has done over the past few years to re-establish itself and as a result, become a club of choice in our local community. We all share immense pride in being named a finalist at a National level,” Daniel said.
“I get to work with an extremely dedicated Committee and a fantastic group of parents who all share the passion and drive to ensure playing cricket is possible for children of all abilities in our local community.
“I couldn't be prouder of our Club and the culture we have created where people possess a strong sense of belonging.”
The club has set massive goals for the upcoming season of cricket, that align with their 2020-2025 strategic vision.
“We want to continue to grow and develop our girls league, and also our programs for children with disabilities and provide more developmental opportunities for our coaches and volunteers,” he said.
Ambassador of the Year Finalist – Dan Rodgers from Deanmore Primary School
Dan is the man! Dan Rodgers has been the driving force behind the thriving cricket culture at Deanmore Primary School for the past 13 years.
His outstanding work at the school has seen him recognised for the second consecutive year as a finalist in the A Sport For All award.
Dan said it's an incredible feeling being recognised at a national level.
"Cricket volunteers are all cricket tragics and it's a genuine pleasure to be doing something I love. To have hard work recognised is brilliant but for me its the feeling that your work is valued that really hits home,” he said.
The Gold level School Cricket Ambassador launched the school's first ever female Woolworths Cricket Blast program in 2014 and over the past year the number of female participants has doubled from 35 to 72, making it the largest of its kind in the State.
Dan said he is proud of his achievement.
“The miles of smiles on the kids faces makes it all worthwhile,” he said.
"My extra-curricular cricket work makes my teaching job easier in the long term and it also helps build valuable relationships for me, Deanmore Primary School and the local community. Everyone wins.”
The two-time WACA School Ambassador of the Year has also created strong connections with Scarborough Junior Cricket Club to assist with kids transitioning from the school’s blast program into the club’s junior cricket team.
For next season he wants to continue to build on the success of the school’s female programs.
“My real aim for next season is to strengthen the female pathway between the school and Scarborough JCC. I'd love my girls-only centre to provide a sustainable, yearly guarantee of numbers for the club’s girls teams.
Partner Organisation of the Year Finalist – Inclusion Solutions
Inclusion Solutions is a WA non-profit organisation which develops and supports the development of well-connected, inclusive and cohesive communities.
The WACA’s partnership with Inclusions Solutions over the 2018-19 season saw the delivery of mentorship programs to 12 cricket clubs with the aim of strengthening operations, knowledge and skills to achieve a more inclusive community.
The increased awareness and understanding of what it truly means to be an inclusive club has begun to shift drastically with a number of community clubs leading the way in developing pathways for girls, marginalised youth, children with disability and Aboriginal participants, amongst many others.
Inclusion Solutions’ General Manager, Denver D’Cruz said it’s been a real honour working with the WACA to create a more inclusive community.
“The WACA are doing a brilliant job in ensuring that all Australians can find a belonging within the great sport of cricket and we are extremely proud and happy to play a small part through our partnership with the WACA,” Denver said.
“I love seeing a person who has never tried the sport score a run, take a wicket or find a volunteer role in their community. To see them embraced and valued by their community is what it is all about.
“I love that our work leads to people being meaningfully included and welcomed into local community clubs around the state and how can you possibly put a price on that!"
In its first year, the innovative partnership between the WACA and Inclusion Solutions has already won a State-wide Sport and Recreation Industry Award, and Denver said there is still a lot of great work to be done.
“For the 2019-20 season, our goal is to ensure that more clubs embrace a greater number of community members. The impact of doing this one club and one person at a time will be immense and hopefully provide the blueprint for other sports to follow,” Denver said.
Junior Cricket Program of the Year Finalist – Quinns Rock Junior Cricket Club
Quinns Rock Junior Cricket Club’s Star Blast Program has been named as a finalist in the Junior Cricket Program of the Year category of the A Sport For All awards.
After recently being awarded a mentorship with Inclusion Solutions by the WACA, QRJCC introduced their Star Blast program which provides cricketing opportunities for children between the ages of 5 and 12 with a disability through an integrated pathway model.
The program, which is run every Saturday morning, provides an environment where players can integrate into their existing Cricket Blast program and gain a sense of belonging.
The previous season of cricket has seen the program grow from one participant in Oct 2018 to eight in February this year, and the Club is confident this figure will continue to increase.
Director of Coaching Toby Morrell organises and runs the program.
"It's been an amazing amount of fun and absolute pleasure to be involved with the creation of the Star Blast program, Toby said.
"Star Blast has been a massive learning experience for me and one I will cherish, and I am grateful that the community has got behind it."
Star Blast participant Isaac said he loves the program and can't wait for the season to start up.
"I just love cricket. I love to hit the ball high at Star Blast," he said.
Initiative of the Year Finalist – Team Connect
Team Connect is an engagement program that creates a link between secondary schools and local community junior cricket clubs, to support girls from traditionally low-participation areas to get involved in community sport.
The program was created in June 2018 by Margie Oldfield who was named the Cricket Australia National Volunteer of the Year in 2017.
Margie also takes on the role of President and Girls Coordinator for Wembley Districts Junior Cricket Club.
After completing a Diploma of Youth Work, Margie wanted to provide young adolescent girls with an opportunity to engage and get involved with the community.
She recognised that for many children in Perth, being a member of a team and a local community sporting club is an inherent part of growing up. She also recognised that this opportunity was not available to all young people.
“I genuinely believe that programs like this can change the lives of young people,” she said.
“Engaging young people in their school and community is one of the fundamentals of a healthy society. If I can be a small part in knowing that there are kids out there with something positive and fun to do on the weekend, and that they are surrounded by good role models and healthy attitudes, then it is all worth it.”
In its first year, participants have come away with improved self-esteem, life skills, connections beyond home and school, increased school attendance and have had lots of fun being active and making new friends.
“Cricket is such a wonderful social, supportive, unique game. Well-managed cricket games can offer so much more than sport. It is offering opportunities to young people that they otherwise may not have, and I feel really privileged to be able to be involved in that process,” Oldfield said.
Ms Oldfield is looking to expand the program this season due to the fantastic feedback the team has received from players, their parents and the wider community.
“I would like Team Connect to be available in all Government High Schools by next year,” she said.
“If we can target kids in their first year of high school and engage them in positive programs like Team Connect, we can potentially keep kids in school to the end of Year 12 by helping form healthy connections to school and local community.”
Junior Cricket Champion of the Year Finalist – Toby Morrell (Quinns Rock JCC)
Toby Morrell has been a key member of the Quinns Rock Junior Cricket Club Executive Committee in the role of Director of Coaching for the past seven years.
Toby is literally at cricket every day of the week helping guide parents, players, coaches and team managers at the club. He has attended more than 200 game of community cricket over the 2018-19 season.
He worked tirelessly to establish two new programs for children and teenagers with a disability, through the mentorship program offered by Inclusion Solutions partnership with the WACA.
Toby said he is very humbled to be nominated as an award finalist.
“Being nominated as a finalist for the All For Sports award shows me that the WACA believe in what we are doing is for the benefit of the game of cricket which means a lot to me and the Club.
“The Club is a great place to be involved with and the Committee do an outstanding job.
"It is all hard work but I love doing what I do for the club.”
Toby also runs club-wide training events for coaches and team managers on how to plan and manage training sessions to maximise fun and engagement with participants.
The Club have big plans for the upcoming season and Toby said he is looking forward to expanding the programs.
“We have amazing programs in place and next season we will focus on improving the Star Blast program for our participants with a disability and aim to get more clubs in the local catchment to start running their own Star Blast program too,” he said.