2016 LMS Club Awards
Cricket Scotland was extremely proud to celebrate the outstanding achievements of some of our clubs and key volunteers at the Scottish Cup final at West of Scotland CC on Sunday 21st August.
The LMS Club Awards includes 6 exciting categories introduced to recognize the key components that make up a great cricket club. This has obviously gone down well with a record number of nominations received across the six categories, which reflects some of the amazing work going on around the country.
Ian Sandbrook, Cricket Scotland Head of Participation, said: `I would like to thank LMS for sponsoring the Club Awards for 2016. They are strong supporters of the grassroots game and see the strength of our clubs as key to the future of cricket in Scotland`. Ian also went on to say `I would like to congratulate all of our fantastic award winners. We had so many nominations and the commitment shown by volunteers at many clubs has been very humbling. We hope that the Last Man Stands Club Awards has also highlighted what we think are the key things clubs should be focusing on to become vibrant, visible and viable cricket clubs for the future`.
Below is a summary of the award winners for 2016.
Best Use of Social Media – Dumfries CC
A club that is at the forefront of communicating with its members and local community, Dumfries CC has demonstrated outstanding use of various social media. The club run an excellent website, facebook page and twitter account that is current, relevant and engages the full range of their membership. They have also live streamed matches to provide an excellent opportunity for members to see their team in action.
A stand out feature of Dumfries CC use of social media is the strong coverage and engagement of both the junior and women`s sections at the club. This `whole club` approach creates buy-in and a feeling of belonging for all members.
Dumfries CC were all one of 5 national winners in the `Love Cricket #choosecricket` video competition that showcased why all their members love cricket.
Most Innovative and Effective Income Generation – Forfarshire CC
During the last 12 months the club, spearheaded by Gordon Walker, has completed 3 sizeable development projects at Forthill Sports Club, home of Forfarshire CC. These projects have contributed significantly to the atmosphere and quality of facilities at the club which has in turn brought in significant revenue. The projects include:
i) Converting 2 redundant turn stile entrance buildings into two facilities: a groundsman`s building; and a food and drink outlet called `Ted`s Shed`. Ted Shed and the surrounding hospitality area in particular has been a wonderful addition for the club. It has been in regular use throughout the season as a focal point for match day sponsors, private functions, an inaugural and very successful Forthill Ladies Day, Former Players Day, and a pre and post-match meeting place for members.
ii) Installation of a new 3 lane net bay facility suitable for use as a Regional cricket centre to the value of £60,000+
iii) Designed and installed a replacement scoreboard frontage at the scorebox
These projects have ensure the club continue to develop a positive environment at the club that will continue to provide them with sustainable future income.
Best Use of Bite-Sized Volunteers – Stenhousemuir CC
Stenhousemuir Cricket Club has made great improvements in the number of volunteers involved within the club. This has taken many forms from the committee, coaching staff, social events and parents involvement with their children.
The committee has seen 4 new members in the last year and 6 in the last two. This is a testament to progression within the club, as volunteers are usually only keen to enter committees when they feel they can make a difference.
The club also ran a really successful CricketForce Weekend and were one of the focus clubs for Cricket Scotland. Over 40 people volunteered during the weekend with the club seeing great improvements in facilities. This has had the added spin off of more members this year holding social functions within the club and more groups from outside the club hiring the facilities. This has created additional revenue for the club and given a greater presence within the community.
The club has also targeted the junior section and through parent feedback sessions, prizegivings, parent information days, and volunteer sheets they have got 10 new volunteers that assist with everything that goes into running junior teams.
The club have taken the approach of giving people small opportunities to get involved and help out. Therefore, they haven`t over-burdened people and have managed to retain their support.
Strongest Community Engagement – Livingston CC
On the completion of a permanent pavilion, the Board of Livingston Cricket Club identified very quickly that the club was no longer sustainable simply by the playing membership, and that a new approach was required. With this in mind the club made a conscious decision to go out and become an integral part of the local community recognising that within that community there will be individuals and groups who will be willing and able to support the club. The Board also identified that to engage with the local community, they needed to offer the community something.
The club now have partnerships with many local groups, they run community events and they have a healthy social membership (currently >200). As well as many regular events (quizzes, ladies nights, etc) they run an annual Fireworks night, Community Gala Day, Beer Festival in conjunction with the Round Table, all of which are supported and appreciated by the local community. The Round Table also use the club for their twice monthly meetings, as do the local Community Council, the Community Environment Group, the local Triathlon club and a football academy for u10s. This hard work cumulated in the club being awarded ‘Community Club’ status by West Lothian Council.
This has meant that the club have been able to appoint a Community Development Officer, who is now working with the local groups and schools to build the game across the Livingston community.
Biggest Change-Maker at a Scottish Cricket Club – Ammar Ashraf, East Renfrewshire CC
Ammar has been the driving force behind the remarkable rise of East Renfrewshire CC, as a coach, development officer, fundraiser, groundsman, manager, recruiter, volunteer – and probably much more too.
As Hamilton CC, the club had two adult teams but no real identity, no youth and no real direction. Ammar has changed all this and has been involved in a phenomenal range of developments:
- Led the move to a new venue at Woodfarm Playing Fields. Ammar co-ordinated the fund-raising and installation and led the lengthy job of liaising with East Renfrewshire Council to establish the principle of a cricket ground at Woodfarm and negotiating the lease and council support
- Established an indoor training facility at the Barrhead Foundry
- Runs an extensive school coaching programme which now sees sessions delivered to all the 29 schools, including the introduction of cricket to Barrhead
- Organised the purchase of a grass cutter for the outfield – which he cuts himself!
- Coordinates the club`s training sessions at their new venue and at Cowan Park, Barrhead. Also, starting an indoor cricket competition during the winter
- Supporting schools cricket in the area with teams entering Cricket Scotland National Schools Competitions at all levels
- Is the Junior Convenor for the club with teams at U10 and U11, and combined teams at U13 and U15
Ammar is absolutely crucial to the success of East Renfrewshire and his vision an drive continues to ensure effective contributors have been brought in to stabilise, establish and develop the club.
Scotland`s Most Welcoming Cricket Club – Westquarter & Redding CC
During the winter last year, the club working with Sports Marketing Network (SMN), decided to review how they attracted and welcomed new members to the club. The club came up with the vision of being `The Friendliest Club in the Forth Valley`, and their approach is now built around living that vision. Some of the things they do are outlined below:
- The club have an outstanding `Welcome Pack` to introduce members & coaches of the club to the parents/guardians and children. SMN was so impressed that they featured the welcome pack in their newsletter and now British Rowing has asked all its members to produce something similar for their clubs
- The club also hosts a welcome meeting for the parents/guardians of new junior members where everyone is walked around the club facilities to get them familiar with their surroundings. They were also informed of the clubs history and the plans for future growth. The welcome was rated 4.7 out of 5 by parents in a follow up survey which also asked how it could be improved
- `The Westies` junior section train on a Thursday evening where the club Treasurer Helen Sutton attends every week to welcome all parents & guardians, help with any queries or questions and also to chat to them during the training sessions. This has meant that a lot more parents have stayed to watch rather than dropping the kids off and leaving, creating a friendly club atmosphere for all. The club has also ensured that all members and parents of the `Westies` receive a monthly club newsletter which keeps them up to date with everything club related
- To try and accommodate people’s lifestyles the club also launched a Super Sixes competition this year aimed at people who couldn’t commit to the long hours the league game takes up. This offered 45 minute games to suit all abilities and has led to 24 new club members, including 12 of the Westies Dads!
- To bring everyone together at the end of the season (including Falkirk Company of Archers who shoot at the ground and staff of the club children’s Nursery) the club is running a Family Day. This will include face painting, bouncy castle (adult friendly!), try archery, try cricket, burger/hot dogs, an ice cream van, and the final of the Super Sixes. This event is free to all Westies kids and they expect approximately 100 people to attend
Photos: Donald MacLeod