Junior Cricket Initiative of the Year | Finalists

This award acknowledges the outstanding delivery of junior cricket experiences by finding clever and innovative ways to engage and grow their junior offering with a focus on education, fun and social connection.

The first finalist is Brothers Cricket Club, Townsville.

In the pre-season of the 2023/24 season, Brothers Cricket Club in Townsville launched a Junior Development Academy to prepare players for the upcoming season. Led by experienced coaches including former 1st Grade Captain David Todd and ex-Queensland Bulls player Luke Feldman, the six-week program targeted players aged 11 to 17, attracting nearly 30 participants. Alongside skill development, sessions addressed mental aspects of the game and reinforced club values. The academy saw 17 players named in representative teams during the season, with 13 academy participants. This success reflects the dedication of the coaches and staff, making Brothers a worthy finalist for the Junior Cricket Initiative award.

The second finalist is Darling Downs & South West Queensland Cricket Inc.

The Darling Downs and South-West Queensland Cricket Inc. launched a comprehensive Junior Development program in the 2023/24 season, ensuring equal opportunities for male and female players across the region. The program comprises the Zone Challenge Cup, Winter Academy, and participation in representative cricket. It facilitates player identification, development, and monitoring, enhancing structure and coordination. The Winter Academy attracted over 140 players, with Cricket Blast numbers increasing by almost 70%, particularly among females, up by nearly 110%. This initiative significantly improved championship team performance. Recognized for fostering the next generation of Queensland cricketers, they are a distinguished finalist for the Junior Cricket Initiative award.

The third finalist is Gympie Regional Cricket Association.

Gympie Regional Cricket Association introduced the Junior Smash tournament to run aligned with their local senior Big Bash in 2022/23 all of which has continued to build in the 2023/24 season. Not only is the competition now established on PlayHQ to provide live-score tracking, but the association is also tirelessly working for sponsorships and partners. Additionally, the region has also recruited 30 plus junior cricketers to feature in the tournament. Not only did the competition advance the juniors skills and techniques, but they were also exposed to big crowds, social media features and were taken under the wing of all the senior teams. A great initiative to get everyone involved in the program. Juniors’ participation numbers improved by over 100% in the past season and set up a strong future for the competition in the years to come.

The fourth finalist is Gladstone Cricket Inc.

Gladstone Cricket Incorporated introduced a Junior Super League, a four-week T20 competition in 2023/24, promoting inclusivity and participation. Players of all levels joined teams regardless of club affiliations, fostering camaraderie. The league offers a competitive environment for those unable to commit to a full season. Low tournament fees and sponsorships covering costs ensure accessibility. Enhanced social media presence promotes the league's fun, family-friendly atmosphere with photos, videos, and highlights. Gladstone Cricket Incorporated's initiative merits recognition as a finalist for the Junior Cricket Initiative award, demonstrating commitment to nurturing junior cricket and community engagement.

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