Cricket Scotland’s place at the forefront of the game both on and off the field was underlined at the recent ICC Development Awards in London. The national governing body was presented with both the Associate Member Men’s Performance and the Innovation of the Year awards as its ongoing work to grow the game in Scotland received recognition at the highest level.
Scotland’s six-run victory over England in June 2018 secured the Associate Performance prize, while CricHIIT, the training initiative developed by Rosy Ryan, Nic Wilson and the Cricket Scotland team to encourage female participation in the game, was judged Innovation of the Year.
“We are absolutely delighted, over the moon,” said Nic, Cricket Scotland’s Head of Participation. “I was actually with Rosy when the news came through and we were both quite emotional about it. We’d spent such a lot of time on it, going back and forth making sure it was right, but it was also the way in which everyone within the organisation and from the wider club structure contributed their expertise as well.
“The lady that designed the logo for us, for example, plays cricket at Dumfries CC and as a favour created the amazing emblem that we now have. Then at Cricket Scotland there was Simon Smith, who wrote the programme, and Ian Sandbrook, who helped with the creation of all the resources we put out. When you’re so closely involved, poring over it and writing and rewriting, sometimes you can’t see it anymore! But Ian would come in and make suggestions, to expand this, drop that, tweak this and so on, and that was hugely valuable. Charlotte Dalton coming in to help more recently as well, Ben Fox videoing the clips for the supporting YouTube channel, it was such a team effort and that really is the beauty of it.
“At the ICC conference last week, so many people came up to ask about it. The next thing we need to do to make sure we can share CricHIIT globally is to establish an online learning resource because I think that’s the only way we can physically do it now. There’s certainly no way we can travel everywhere that’s shown an interest!”
For outgoing Chief Executive Malcolm Cannon, the validation of Cricket Scotland’s strategy to bring cricket into the mainstream is particularly satisfying.
“The fact that we have received recognition on a global stage in two areas which are massively important to us, namely the performance of our national sides and the work we are putting into grass roots cricket in Scotland, is tremendously pleasing,” he said. “We could have probably entered three or four different initiatives into the latter category with all the different ideas that we have introduced to encourage people into the game, be it the Wee Bash or our delivery of the Wicketz programme or the amazing work happening in Project Glasgow. Along with CricHIIT these are massively innovative new concepts for cricket in Scotland which are broadening the base, so it’s a fantastic honour to be recognised for things that are really important to us that will give longevity and sustainability to the sport in Scotland.
“At Cricket Scotland we are investing over the long term and it’s great to receive recognition of that.”