The new strategy is designed to drive the direction of junior cricket in the ACT over the next three years and establishes seven Key Principles for growth from which 19 recommendations have been developed. These recommendations cover the junior competition structure, school programs, entry level programs, support for club volunteers and the transition process from school participants to registered players.
The overriding focus of the strategy is an outcome of cricket participation growth and to support the work of clubs and their volunteers.
The feedback from stakeholders to the draft was very positive said Cricket NSW Cricket Manager ACT Geoff Bartlett.
“There was a lot of strong support for the direction of the Strategy and its Key Principles” said Mr Bartlett.
“Importantly, there was an acceptance that this Strategy represents an evolution of the current path that has been put in place with the introduction of the Junior Formats and the Community Cricket staff uplift which commenced in February 2019.”
“There has been significant change in the junior cricket landscape over the last couple of years and this Strategy has given everyone a chance to take stock of where we are at and also to map out the next few years.”
“Most of the feedback we received was seeking to clarify some of the recommendations and many of the questions related to the implementation process and what will need to be considered to implement the strategy.”
Some of the recommendations have been adjusted from the draft including:
- The lower divisions to remain as a single season rather than be split into separate pre-Christmas and post-Christmas seasons
- Increased support and activities for community coaches
- A further study to be undertaken in the next couple of years to include all hard wicket and turf cricket
- Identifying the Key Driver for each of the 19 Recommendations
The focus now shifts towards the implementation of the Recommendations said CNSW Area Manager Southern NSW & ACT Martin Gleeson.
“Pleasingly, there was a desire to implement the Stages Not Ages approach in the junior competition across two years instead of the drafted three year plan” said Mr Gleeson.
“If the Stage 1 implementation is successful next season then Stages 2 and 3 can be rolled out in time for the 2021/22 season.”
“Whilst the feedback on Stages Not Ages was very supportive there were a number of queries regarding its implementation and these will now be worked through over the coming months.”
“Now that the Board has adopted the Strategy we will continue to work with staff and the Junior Cricket Council to deliver on the Strategy’s key objectives.”