Moree Junior Cricket Club in line for national award after being named Cricket NSW Club of the Year

MOREE Junior Cricket Club collared an off-season boundary when named Club of the Year at the recent Cricket NSW A Sport For All Awards – and have now earned a shot at Cricket Australia’s national awards tomorrow afternoon.

The awards recognise clubs, organisations and individuals from across regional and rural New South Wales in 12 categories, and give all winners automatic entry into Cricket Australia’s National Awards on Thursday, May 21.

During the 2019-2020 season, Moree Junior Cricket Club fielded more than 150 players in several programs, including the Woolworths Junior Blaster as well as further developed junior formats for older players.

Club president Krist Grasnick says the win was a team effort – pun intended.

“For us to win this award is a big feather in our cap – it shows that smaller rural communities can also match it with the bigger clubs in the state,” Grasnick said.

“It is a great honour for everyone involved – we were very excited to hear the news.

“It is a great achievement for our club and town. A club is not successful without the support of parents who trust our club by signing up their children to play.”

Image courtesy of Justin Barnes.

Grasnick, who signed on as club president last year, said the Moree club has grown significantly in recent years.

“We have close to 200 registered players from the beginners in the Woolworths Master Blaster program through to the older kids playing a real game of cricket,” he said.

“A huge show of thanks goes out to our current committee and to all the previous committee members who have all worked tirelessly to make it the club it is today.

“We don’t do what we do just to get this sort of recognition, but when it comes our way we will accept it with open arms,” he smiled.

Grasnick said Moree Junior Cricket Club has made huge inroads in recent months, with more funding given the greenlight.

“We have seen huge transformations of our facilities over recent years with a new turf wicket, fence and now the lights, and we have just received notification that we have been successful through Cricket Australia Grants to build two new practice nets,” he said.

“Another big result for us over the last couple of years is the rise in participation of girls in cricket.

“On behalf of the club I would like to thank the Moree community, Northern Inland Cricket, Central North Cricket, NSW Cricket and, of course, Cricket Australia for all their support,” Grasnick said.

Cricket NSW estimates the Moree club, from a town-based population of 7400, fielded junior players representing more than two percent of the local community – an incredible achievement.

“Through a committed group of volunteers, the programs emphasise a fun, supportive and inclusive environment, while increasing the skills base of children involved,” Cricket NSW said in a statement.

Other winners include 15-year-old Danielle Chivers (Young Community Leader); Dubbo Junior Girls Cricket Initiative (Women and Girls Initiative of the Year); Manning River District Cricket (Technology and Media Initiative of the Year); – LGBTI Tamworth Rainbow Cricket (Inclusion and Diversity Initiative of the Year); Baulkham Hills North Public School (Cricket in Schools); Macleay Indoor Sports and Development Centre (Indoor Facility of the Year); Coffs Harbour City Council (Community Partnership of the Year); Mossgiel Cricket Blast (Junior Cricket Initiative of the Year); and Young District Cricket Association (Association of the Year).

Image courtesy of Justin Barnes.

Individual winners were Bruce Wood (Community Match Official of the Year) and Catherine Wood (Community Coach of the Year).

“Bruce is a highly respected umpire who has umpired in the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai area for the past 19 years,” Cricket NSW said.

“He has umpired more than 500 official cricket matches and, for the past four years, has been the co-ordinator of the Combined Associated Schools schoolboy umpiring.

“Catherine is the Cricket Albury Wodonga Female Coordinator and representative coach across several age groups and levels in the Riverina region of southern NSW.

“She was the Border Bullets coach for the inaugural T20 NSW Women’s Regional Bash this season, Woolworths Cricket Blast co-ordinator for the Corowa Cricket Club and one of 27 female ambassadors invited to attend the Cricket Australia Female Coach Project.”

The Cricket Australia national awards will be held at 5pm tomorrow, Thursday, May 21.

Words: Bill Poulos

Images: Justine Barnes