In 2016, Cricket Australia’s ‘A Sport For All’ Awards were created to celebrate community cricket and recognise the achievements of our clubs, associations, indoor centres, community organisations, administrators and volunteers.

The ACT is part of the Southern NSW/ACT Area, which consists of five regions - ACT, Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Southern Inland & South Coast/Snowy Monaro. Each region puts forward a nomination for the 12 separate awards, and from these, a final 12 area winners are selected.

Kelly Rowlings won the Young Community Leader Award, which is given to a young person who positively impacts those around them through their off-field leadership in volunteering.

The Junior Cricket Initiative of the Year Award was given to the ANU Junior Cricket Club because they had an outstanding delivery of junior cricket and found innovative ways to engage and grow their junior offering while focusing on education, fun and social connection.

Kelly Rowlings – Southern NSW/ACT Young Community Leader Award Winner

Kelly is fantastic cricketer but more importantly a wonderful role model to aspiring female cricketers.

She hails from Goulburn but has been applying her trade for the Weston Creek Molonglo Cricket Club where she was essential in the growth and development of their female first grade team.

Unfortunately, prior to the commencement of the season it was nearly a forgone conclusion that there wouldn’t be a female first-grade side to nominate.  However, in consultation with the Female Committee and Weston Creek Molonglo Cricket Club, Kelly was devoted to keeping the female team afloat and helped establish the team that went on to play a full season.

That alone would have been enough, but Kelly also captained and coached the team that was made up mostly of juniors to a place in the final.  Although they lost the final to Eastlake Cricket Club, the strength of the squad is what will make this a sustainable participation model moving forward. Weston Creek Molonglo went from struggling to get any players to having the greatest number of registered women players for the season. This was is no small part to the wonderful work Kelly put in to create a friendly and welcoming culture that cultivates and embraces female participation at all levels.

It should also be noted that Kelly is always looking to develop and refine her coaching skills.  It is something she is passionate about and is always looking for new opportunities to take her coaching in the female pathway to the next level. For example, this season she was aACTive Academy Coach, a Female Zone Academy Coach, nominated to complete her level 2 coaching and part of a Cricket Australia-led female coaching development course.

On a final note, Kelly was also fundamental in getting the ACT Aces through to the Thunder Conference Final at the SCG where they defeated the Coffs Coast Chargers.

A huge congratulations to Kelly from all of us at Cricket ACT on this much deserved recognition.

ANU Junior Cricket Club – Junior Cricket Initiative of the Year Award Winner

ANU Junior Cricket club is a sub-committee of the ANU Cricket Club.  Whilst the senior club was established in 1962, the Junior Committee was only established 5 years ago by the current club president, Murray Radcliffe.

The junior club has been going through a natural growth phase whereby the club adds another year to its provision.  With the U10, U11, U12 and U13 teams competing in local competitions and 90 children participating in the Junior Master Blaster Programs – a 30% increase from last year –Murray needed assistance if the club was to prosper.

All of these changes, while great for the club and community, meant that a sustainable development and participation model needed to be established quickly. 

A call to arms was made and thankfully,resulted in a significant number of supportive parents stepping up to fill a range of roles.As a result, the Junior Committee increased by 6 positions to help deliver junior cricket in Canberra’s inner north.

An extensive strategic plan has been drafted in order to take junior cricket to the next level with one of the key objectives being to increase the number of girls who play the sport. Plans linking the senior club to the junior players are also now in place which sees senior cricketers providing coaching and support on a weekly basis.

The Committee has sourced sponsorships which offer coaching and leadership resources for members so that they have a more comprehensive training regime and program.

Effective and concise communication has been implemented so all parents of participants are kept up to date with the Committee’s activities

Last but not least, a BBQ and family atmosphere at Junior and Master Blaster afternoons was instigated which provides the opportunity for adults to socialise and enjoy the summer days whilthe kids play cricket.

We congratulate ANU Junior Cricket Club and all of the valuable volunteers who have put in so much work to help the club thrive long into the future.