Cricket Scotland was extremely proud to celebrate the achievements of some of their clubs and volunteers at last week’s revamped Last Man Stands Club Awards.
In line with the ethos of the Thriving Clubs programme, which is being delivered by Sports Marketing Network (‘SMN’), this year’s awards has seen a change in direction with a number of new categories introduced to recognise the key components that make up a great cricket club.
This has obviously gone down well with a record number of nominations received across the six categories, which reflects some of the amazing work going on around the country.
Ian Sandbrook, Cricket Scotland Head of Community Development, said: `I would like to congratulate all of our fantastic award winners. We had so many nominations and the commitment shown by volunteers at many clubs has been very humbling. We hope that the new look Last Man Stands Club Awards has also highlighted what we think are the key things clubs should be focusing on to become vibrant, visible and viable cricket clubs for the future`.
The six award categories were devised by SMN and the winners are:
Biggest Change-Maker at a Scottish Cricket Club – Helen and Stephen Sutton & George McLaughlin – Westquarter & Redding Cricket Club
This impressive trio have truly transformed the future of their cricket club. Five years ago Helen had the idea to turn the derelict farmhouse in the club grounds into a children`s nursery to provide an income to help fund not only the business as usual costs but also to plan further improvements to the ground and facilities. After 5 years of blood, sweat and tears the nursery at Westquarter & Redding CC will be opening in conjunction with Glenbervie Kindergarten this week. The inspiring Helen, Stephen and George have created something for their club that they can be truly proud of.
This phenomenal achievement has seen the club sign a 25 year lease with the nursery that safeguards that long term future of the club. These 3 have been ever-present in the achievement of this, covering off all the demands of the project, including but not limited to:
- Researching facilities and demand
- Approaching nurseries to attract interest
- Council planning permission and meetings, including an appeal process after an initial refusal
- Tender processes
- Undertaking much of the manual work themselves to save money
- Widening the existing road and tarmacking the courtyard
They have also signed a 5 year agreement with an Archery Club to make further use of their facilities and continue the approach of making the most of their facilities.
Scotland`s Most Welcoming Cricket Club – Galloway Cricket Club
This award was chosen by the Cricket Scotland Development staff who get the pleasure of seeing many cricket clubs in their travels. Galloway CC truly stand out as the `Most Welcoming Cricket Club` in Scotland. From their idyllic ground in Gatehouse of Fleet where you are welcomed to their club by friendly faces from all walks of life – men, women, girls and boys – it is an absolute pleasure to deal with Galloway CC. This is a club that has grown to include a fantastic junior section with girls teams as well as boys, a women`s team, and a senior men`s team – all from a tiny, rural community. Galloway CC were also outstanding in their embracing of the Jewson CricketForce event that saw them become 1 of 13 winners from across the UK in the Jewson `Building Better Communities` Campaign, with them receiving £5,000 towards their new clubhouse project. There`s no doubt in our mind that clubs that are truly welcoming and friendly attract and keep people, and Galloway CC are proof of this.
Best Use of Social Media – Glenrothes Cricket Club
The Internet and use of Social Media is at the heart of the growth which has occurred at Glenrothes CC over the past 4 years. The club made a conscious decision that `shouting from the rooftops` about all that was happening within their club was the best way to generate awareness and excitement for cricket in a football dominated area. The club has strategically planned the use of their website, Facebook and Twitter accounts to best communicate with their members and wider community which has made them one of the most visible clubs in Scotland. Along with all this fantastic work, the club took the decision in 2013 to begin to live stream their 1st XI matches which has simply added to the online experience that has been created.
Most Innovative and Effective Income Generation – Greenock Cricket Club
Greenock Cricket Club have established a partnership with Sport Inverclyde to lead on Child Protection and Safeguarding within the local authority of Inverclyde. This was achieved through Sport Inverclyde providing the organisation, support and funding and Greenock CC providing the Sportscotland accredited tutor and the venue (Glenpark). This approach has opened up a previously untapped income stream for the club.
It has also led to a number of additional benefits to the club:
- An introduction to Greenock Cricket Club for a large number of sports clubs, which has greatly increased knowledge of its existence and the facilities available
- Local clubs have now booked the Club for various functions eg. AGM’s and committee meetings for which they receive a fee for the use of the premises
- Joint training achieved, resulting in economies of scale
- Cross fertilisation and networking of local sports coaches
- The approach is long term, with “repeat business” ongoing as clubs further train new coaches
Best Use of Bite-Sized Volunteers – Edinburgh South Cricket Club
This award goes to the parents of the `Edinburgh South Cricket Stars` for the part they have played in more than doubling the junior membership of the club in the past year.
The club have engaged the parents in a number of simple fundraising activities to ensure that the cost of participation in cricket is not prohibitive to youngsters coming from disadvantaged areas in the South of Edinburgh. Some of the events allocated and run by various parents include:
- Selling home baking and running raffles
- Arranging social occasions such as the end of season Awards evening
- A `Cricketmas` Party and a Halloween themed cricket session
- Parent scorers/umpires/helpers at the club`s first Schools cricket festival where approximately 200 boys and girls attended
These efforts raised enough funds to enable all of their young cricket stars to attend the weekly cricket sessions at Liberton High School free of charge from September through to April. This played a key part in retaining young cricketers at the club and helped to more than double junior membership.
The club have focused on helping parents find a role that they feel comfortable with and that fits with their time commitments and interest.
Strongest Community Engagement – Moray Cricket Association
Moray Cricket Association is a charitable voluntary organisation that portrays a strong community engagement ethos. MCA is made up of at least one representative from every cricket club in Moray, a representative from Active Schools, Moray Council, and Cricket Scotland. They are a very proactive group that aim to engage anyone and everyone to be involved in the sport be that as a spectator, participant, official, volunteer or funder. They have an open door policy and seek every opportunity to grow the game in Moray. This is shown through the vast array of programmes and relationships they nurture, including:
- Strong Primary and Secondary School Programme
- Coach Education for staff and volunteers throughout the region
- School Accreditation Scheme that has grown school engagement with cricket
- Elite Player Development Squads
- Links with the Baxter Foundation
- Girls` Regional Development Programme
- Regional league structure that has expanded due to the growth in junior cricket
If you are interested in discussing how SMN can help your clubs become more vibrant, visible and viable, please get in touch on 01423 326 660 or email email@example.com
- If you are interested in discussing how SMN can help your clubs become more vibrant, visible and viable, please get in touch on 01423 326 660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org