Eight passionate individuals and organisations within the Cricket NSW community have been endorsed for the 2019 NSW Community Sports Awards to be presented at State Parliament House on Thursday 20 June.
The awards recognise the outstanding achievements and contributions of volunteers in community sport throughout New South Wales. Finalists will be announced in May.
Community Coach of the Year – Jason Stubbs
Mr Stubbs has coached across numerous sports, from grassroots to the international level, most notably with Cricket NSW over the past three seasons.
He is currently the Cricket Australia NSW Satellite Coach for the Blind Australian squad and Head Coach of the NSW Blind and Low Vision team that claimed its second successive title at the National Cricket Inclusion Championships last season.
Mr Stubbs has been one of the driving forces behind the back-to-back championships after the NSW Blind and Low Vision team claimed its first title in 2017/18.
This will be his first year as the NSW Satellite Coach for the Australian Blind team.
Each and every Sunday, Mr Stubbs volunteers his time to coach and identify junior sportspeople with a disability. He promotes inclusion and is always striving to improve on what he has already accomplished. The culture he has created around the NSW Blind and Low Vision team is one of mateship and genuine care as well as high performance.
Community Sport Administrator of the Year - Cameron Laurie
Mr Laurie has administered grassroots programs throughout the Parramatta district for a number of years.
He is an active committee member of the Winston Hills Cricket Club, a board member of the Parramatta District Cricket Association and an umpire.
Mr Laurie also takes on additional administration and leadership roles at Winston Hills.
The club grew from six junior teams in 2017/18 to 12 last season. His passionate advocacy of female cricket also saw the creation of two junior female teams playing in the Parramatta Thunder Girls Cricket League.
He engaged other club members and parents as volunteers to ensure that programs ran smoothly in roles such as leading groups, organising and setting up equipment, the barbeque and canteen. This supported the club philosophy that participation and involvement ensure a strong sense of belonging.
Mr Laurie also administered the organisation of the club Year Book and trophies for the Annual Presentation event.
He has been outstanding as a mentor to the current Junior Secretary. His generosity of time and extensive knowledge has been invaluable.
Community Club of the Year - West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Cricket Club
The West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Cricket Club introduced Blowfly Cricket in 2018/19. The program gives young people aged between 5 to 25 with autism, special needs and/or disabilities the chance to play organised sport and their families the opportunity to be involved.
Six participants started the program last season finishing with 15.
The club has a retention rate for Junior Blasters – under five to eight – of 70% over the last 10 years. Sixty per cent of these young people play junior cricket with 50% playing through to under 16s.
These results are achieved through a Participation Over Results Policy, that is embedded in the club Constitution.
Local school clinics run by the club at the beginning of last season, for Kindergarten to Year Three students, introduced cricket to approximately 1,500 boys and girls. Free special skills clinics were also run throughout the season for all junior teams.
The club has three girls’ teams and has offered girls' cricket since 1992.
Distinguished Long Service Award - Barry McDonald
Mr McDonald has been an active President and Chairman of the West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Cricket Club for 34 years and the club has achieved amazing results under his leadership.
At the start of his tenure in 1985, the club had five senior teams and seven junior boys’ teams. Now, there are 11 senior teams and 46 junior boys’ and junior Blasters (or Kanga cricket as it was once known).
The club was one of the earliest adopters of the Blasters program in NSW and has now seen 2,800 children graduate. Girls’ cricket was introduced in 1996, as a visionary initiative, and 925 girls have graduated since.
In 2018, Mr McDonald led the introduction of Blowfly Cricket for young people with a disability. He has also led the active involvement in building strong community ties with local schools to the extent that last season five welcomed the club into their schools.
He was the driving force to adopt a formal club policy of 'Participation Over Results' in 1998 and has driven a corporate structure with succession planning for club management front of mind.
Team of the Year - Cricket NSW Blind and Low Vision Team
The Cricket NSW Blind and Low Vision Cricket Team has been the most accomplished cricket community team for NSW over the last two years.
After achieving a first-time sweeping victory at the 2017/18 National Cricket Inclusion Championships, where the team were undefeated, they achieved something never done before. They went back-to-back in their division despite losing several Australian players to other states.
The significance of their achievements cannot be understated. Not only has the success grown the game immensely for vision impaired people in NSW, the team and the governing body, Blind Cricket NSW, are dedicated to nurturing this growth.
Five members are aged 21 or under, which is rare at this level of cricket, with the number of participants growing year-on-year. It speaks to the culture the team has created – inclusive, competitive and focused on the development of the community as a whole.
Much of this is driven by veteran stalwarts, director Mark Eschbank through to team manager Graham Coulton and head coach Jason Stubbs.
Community Team of the Year – Pendle Hill Colts Cricket Club U13 Thunder Girls Cricket League Team
The first ever all-female Pendle Hill Colts cricket team participated in the inaugural Parramatta District Cricket Association Under 13 Thunder Girls Cricket League last season remaining undefeated.
The team consisted of eight girls ranging in age from 10-13 years old, seven of whom were new to the game, playing their first season of club cricket.
The girls played two shorter seasons, a nine-week Spring season and eight-week Summer season. Over both seasons, the team did not lose a single game they played.
They were the only team in the Parramatta district to achieve this. The team were awarded their champion medallions at a special medal ceremony at Spotless Stadium in January.
Their performance has encouraged other clubs in the local community to seek opportunities to foster, promote and support female cricket.
Pendle Hill Colts consistently displayed a positive culture representing fairness, safety, and inclusiveness. This applied to their training, club events, encouraging each other, showing respect to umpires and their opposition, as well as older players providing guidance for their younger team mates.
Young Coach of the Year – Zachary Aubourg
Seventeen-year-old Zach coaches the Kissing Point Cricket Club Under 14 team within the Hornsby Kur-ing-gai and Hills District Cricket Association. Despite his club, finishing last at the end of the 2018/19 season, great improvements were made throughout.
Zach volunteered his time to create an inclusive environment for both boys and girls in the team. He did this by gathering the team in huddles during every break in games and coached in a fun, unique way that helped improve skills and sporting spirit, leading by his actions.
He put the needs of his team ahead of his own playing commitments for his senior team, and also trained two under 16 players to be coaches. Zach is constantly positive and upbeat regardless of the situation which showed in the team’s attitude.
The teenager also coordinates parent volunteering in scoring and umpiring.
Community Event of the Year – Plan B Regional Bash
The Plan B Regional Bash is an elite T20 competition for the major zones throughout Country NSW and the ACT. The fourth season was completed in 2018/19.
The competition is organised by Cricket NSW and coordinated by Country Programs Manager Bruce Whitehouse. Preliminary matches are played in regional centres driving participation growth in country cricket across NSW and the Territory.
The leading team in each of the four centralised pools – Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga – qualified for the conference finals held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in February, for a fourth successive season.
The ACT Aces, Central West Wranglers, Coffs Coast Chargers and Central Coast Rush all made their first appearances in the finals last season.
Central Coast claimed the title with a 24-run win over the ACT under the lights of the SCG.
The tournament also plays an important role promoting the message, particularly in rural and regional areas, of the dangers related to drink driving and why a ‘Plan B’ is needed when out drinking.