NZC Development Award winners announced

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has announced the winners of the 2012 Development Awards.

 The awards recognise the excellent contributions that schools and clubs as well as volunteers, coaches, teachers and club personnel make towards the development of the game.

This is the sixth year the NZC National Development Awards have been celebrated with the five categories being Best Junior Cricket Initiative, Best Youth Cricket Initiative, Best Club Cricket Initiative, Best Women’s Cricket Initiative and the Service to Cricket Award.

NZC National Development Manager, Mark Lane, said the awards highlight the significant contribution that club members and volunteers make towards developing and growing cricket in this country.

 “The Development Awards are a wonderful honour for all those who work tirelessly to promote our national summer sport,” said Lane.

“We depend greatly on the work of those, who tirelessly give up their time and energy, to sustain and develop the game at the grassroots level”.

“These awards are an opportunity to acknowledge the positive impact a number of volunteers have had at grassroots level.”

Each Major Association made a nomination for each of the five categories. The final winners were:

Best Women’s Cricket Initiative - Christchurch Girls High School (Canterbury)
Best Junior Cricket Initiative - Lincoln Primary School (Canterbury Country)
Best Youth Cricket Initiative - Kelston Girls High School (Auckland)
Best Club Cricket Initiative - Ellerslie Cricket Club (Auckland)
Service to Cricket Award - Dave Gillespie (Wellington)

* Further details below.

Previous winners -

Best Women’s Cricket Initiative - Christchurch Girls High School (Canterbury)

Christchurch Girls High School have won the NZCT Girls cricket competition for two years in a row. This has led to an explosion of interest in cricket within the school. To build for the future, this summer the school introduced a lunch time Slogs 6’s competition for Y9/Y10 girls. Six teams were involved, a combination of current players, but pleasingly, a number of novices who had never played before. The tournament was played over a round robin format and with the tournament unearthing two players who were added to the NZCT team. CGHS went on to win the local tournament and will now return to the national finals to attempt to make it three in a row.
Best Junior Cricket Initiative - Lincoln Primary School (Canterbury Country)
Lincoln Primary School has played a major role in assisting in New Zealand Cricket’s recently developed initiative, “Zone Cricket”. To date Lincoln Primary has successfully trialled the game both at school and at New Zealand Cricket’s High Performance Centre (during the innings breaks of the New Zealand White Ferns v England 50 over match).
A critical part of the trial process was the gathering of feedback from the staff and children involved. The key elements learnt from the sessions were: fun; teamwork; skill development; success; maximum participation; enthusiasm for the game; non-threatening; non-gender specific. The enthusiasm and willingness to support the Zone Cricket initiative by the Lincoln Primary staff was exemplary with the Zone Cricket initiative an excellent fit for the cricket pathway at Lincoln Primary.
In the coming cricket season, Lincoln Primary envisage playing Zone Cricket at an intra-school level between “houses”.

Best Youth Cricket Initiative - Kelston Girls High School (Auckland)

Kelston Girls College first entered a cricket team in the secondary school Wednesday competition in 2011 (entered by teacher, Francois Coetzee) and placed first equal in the Senior B Grade in their first year of competition. This year the team was promoted to premiere B grade and now there are a number of girls playing club cricket on Saturday and hopefully this will continue to grow in the future. In August 2011 former White Fern, Haidee Tiffen, started teaching at Kelston Girls and also joined Francois Coetzee in coaching the girls team. Haidee identified some real talent with two player featuring in the Auckland Secondary School trials. Feala Vaelua was chosen for that team and gained a great deal of confidence and experience. She also went to the Samoan Women’s team trials where she made the squad, the team is yet to be named.
Interest in cricket was further developed by the involvement of their Year 9 and 10 classes in Auckland Cricket’s Super 8’s competition.  The school went onto compete in the NZCT tournament for the first time. A feature of their involvement was the wonderful team spirit and pride displayed along with song and dance. The enthusiasm and interest for cricket at Kelston Girls has led to creation of an annual cricket exchange with St Kentigerns College to help nurture and grow cricket at both schools.

Best Club Cricket Initiative - Ellerslie Cricket Club (Auckland)

Twilight cricket is growing in popularity across Auckland due to time constraints and people wanting to keep their weekends free. Auckland’s Champions League rewards the successful Ellerslie, Howick Pakuranga, University and Cornwall champions by pitting the best against the best on one of the best Astroturf wickets and one of the highest rated grass strips in Auckland.
Semi-finals and finals take place over two nights with medals and trophy awarded to the winning team along with spot prizes for the highest individual score and least runs conceded in an over.
This award is great recognition for the club as pioneers in the twilight market.

Service to Cricket Award - Dave Gillespie (Wellington)

Dave Gillespie has been on the Taita Cricket Club Committee since 1997, during this time he has held almost every position in the Club, Chairman, Club Captain, acted as Treasurer and Secretary and his contribution to the club was recognised in 2008 as a life member.
Taita Cricket Club is based at Fraser Park, the local community is lower socio-economic with a large percentage of Polynesian ethnicity. Taita has always found this a challenge in getting a junior section as finding children and parents that will commit to the time required to play cricket, the expense of getting the players to the game and organising the team and retaining the interest has proved to be difficult.

Dave Gillespie has been the integral part of having the coaching that Taita has completed in St Michael’s school in Pomare and Avalon Intermediate. He has put many hours into closing the gap that has been missing in Taita’s development programme. He organised the grant application, subsequent funding that was necessary to have the coaching completed, to fund the NZC Have-a-Go cricket programme at a cost of $1 per student. In this lower economic area this has been crucial in having these students introduced, participate in the training and most recently play inter school games.

He organised and co-ordinated the coaches required, filled in for those coaches when they could not meet their coaching commitments and undertook full liaison with the schools. This included the pre-meeting, progress reporting during the programme and then subsequently a debrief with these schools. I have attached a letter of gratitude from St Michaels which is a credit to Dave and his commitment to ensuring this programme was successful.

Both of those schools have already expressed an interest in again participating in Have a Go cricket in the 2012/13 season. The work that Taita Cricket has completed in the local lower socio-economic area of Taita/Pomare has recently been recognised by the National Bank as Taita Cricket was the recipient of a $5,000 grant from there New Zealand Cricket programme to continue with the development of cricket in this area.

Additionally Dave has been involved with having Taita having two colts teams entered in the recently completed Sunday competition again being the key liaison between the club and these teams. He has been the club contact and organiser of umpires and facilities for the Wanderers Schools 20/20 competition completed at Fraser Park in December 2011.

On top of this he has also been the Coach of the Club’s Hazlett side for the past three seasons, having previously coached the clubs Pearce Cup team for three seasons. When David Little was unexpectedly unavailable to fulfil his role as the Clubs Pearce Cup coach in early January Dave had no issue in stepping into the void, organising the practices for both teams and juggling the required coaching duties.

Dave co-ordinates the Club’s pre-season training, complete the necessary funding applications, books the indoor facilities at TMP, and assists in running the trainings and liaising with the existing and new players. At the beginning of the season he has undertaken a stock take and review of the clubs cricket gear, organised the funding application for the necessary gear and balls for the season and then ensures that the teams have gear bags ready to go for the season.

On top of all this Dave also contributes to the committee with his drive and enthusiasm for Taita cricket but more importantly Cricket as a Sport. On training nights and Saturdays you will often find Dave unlocking the clubrooms, ensuring that everything is ready for the players, working on the bar and then being the last to leave. When the clubs 20/20 Legends cricket side is short Dave also is seen rolling his arm over to ensure that 11 players are on the field.

His contribution to Taita cricket is immense and his commitment to getting cricket into the local community has been immeasurable, a programme that other schools have already expressed an interest in joining.


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