By Balbir Singh,INDIANAPOLIS, JAN 25 :Three International Cricket Council (ICC) Development Programme Awards for 2013 for the Americas Region , including the most prestigious, Best Overall Cricket Development Award, The Volunteer of the Year Award and the ICC Lifetime Service Award, have been conferred on Bermuda Cricket Board [BCB] , an ICC statement said. Explaining the importance of winning these awards, President Lloyd Fray said “The Best Overall Development Program is the most significant of the ICC awards and is a fitting validation of our work from PeeWee right up to the senior level.”
The ICC statement said “the Bermuda Cricket Board’s success in 2013 was highlighted by their quality educational services, national cricket academy and strong administrative structures which have ensured Bermuda’s ongoing success. This excellence was particularly evident through the 233% increase achieved through the introduction of a Player Development League, aimed at bridging the gap between junior and senior cricket.
The Lifetime Service Award was awarded to The Hon. CV ‘Jim’ Woolridge of Bermuda, CBE, who was recognised for his Lifetime Service to Bermuda Cricket through over 50 years of broadcasting.
Volunteer of the Year was won by Mr. Calvin Waldron of Bermuda. Mr. Waldron provided his services to the Bermuda Cricket Board as a player, coach, administrator and groundsman. Mr. Waldron, a National Academy Director, Coach and Bermuda Cricket Board Executive also provides his services as an Umpire and Team Manager for touring teams.
Cricket Brazil was another big winner in this year’s awards, walking away with Best Women’s Cricket Initiative. Best Women’s Cricket Initiative, Pocos de Caldas project, involved a Twenty20 series arranged between Pocos Ladies and Brasillia Ladies teams. Through work of Development Officers and young players, the series was used as a platform to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer research.
The Best Junior Participation Initiative was awarded to East Bay Youth Cricket Association, a member of United States of America Cricket Association (USACA). This initiative saw a 900% increase in Junior Cricket Leagues from 2011. These phenomenal results stemmed from a community based approach and the creation of a ‘family’ atmosphere.
East Bay Youth Cricket Association is, an affiliate member of the United States Youth Cricket Association. EBYCA joined USYCA in 2012 and later that year built a new youth pitch with the help of USYCA.
An elated USYCA President Jamie Harrison said, “We are proud and delighted to learn of East Bay Youth Cricket’s award. The coaches, parents and players there have all worked very hard to bring this about, and I am sure that there are even greater accomplishments ahead. USYCA wishes EYCA the best of luck in the global phase of the Development Programme competition.”
The Argentine Cricket Association took out the Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative. Over the past 2 years, students from St George’s College have been spending time with boys and girls from Villa 21 & 24. St George’s College, Buenos Aires, is considered one of the finest schools in the region, which educates the children of some of Argentina’s most affluent families. In contrast, Villa 21 & 24 is a slum located in Buenos Aires and one of the most underprivileged areas in Buenos Aires.
The activities are aimed at children aged 15 or younger and are focused on creating friendships while learning the skills of the game. St George’s College has allowed the Caacupe team to utilise the facilities across weekends, while Cricket Argentina’s senior cricketers hope to teach English once a week as part of their community service in 2014.
The Best Cricket Promotion and Marketing Programme were won by The Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA) Canada, who organised the 6th Annual Toronto – London Youth Ambassador Program in 2013. The program uses cricket to build sportsmanship, bridge cultural, ethnic and social divides and serve as a medium that empowers and unites the vastly diverse communities across Toronto. Twelve young crickets were selected from Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods to travel to the UK for cricket training in July, 2013.
This program achieved fantastic media exposure through major Canadian television networks, radio and newspaper reporters, as well as key corporate executives, public officials and municipal politicians.
The ICC Americas congratulated all award winners on their achievements.