Queensland will be represented in the Junior Cricket Champion, Community Ambassador and Premier Cricket Club of the Year categories at Thursday evening's awards that run alongside National Volunteer Week and recognise the contributions of individuals and clubs that ensure cricket is a sport that can be played and enjoyed by all Australians.
Mick Varidel from the Western Suburbs Districts Cricket Club in Brisbane has been shortlisted in the Junior Champion of the Year category after displaying determination and passion for junior cricket in his volunteer role at the club.
Mick has been a major driver in growing junior girls cricket in the western suburbs where he set up the Metro South West Cricket Association’s first female competition named The Chelmer Challenge. He also coaches multiple teams, sits on the Wests Junior Committee and leads the club’s efforts in community fundraising for initiatives such as Pink Stumps Day.
Darren Werder from the Magpies Cricket Club in Mackay has been nominated as the Community Ambassador of the Year after tireless work in ensuring cricket is a sport for all people in the Mackay and Whitsundays region.
Darren established the Cricket4Every1 program over the summer, an initiative set up between the Magpies and Mackay District Special School that provides students with a four-week course to enjoy cricket in an inclusive, fun and safe environment.
Cricket4Every1 received substantial support from the Mackay community in 2018-19, with $15,000 raised for the Mackay District Special School, while also providing positive experiences for students, with two having subsequently joined local junior cricket clubs.
Gold Coast Dolphins District Cricket Club has been shortlisted as the country’s Premier Cricket Club of the Year after not only excelling at developing players to play in Queensland’s elite teams, but also creating positive experiences for the community by helping to bring big events to the region.
Dolphins’ President Jeff Pfaff’s long-held vision to host major elite cricket on the Gold Coast was realised in 2018-19 when Metricon Stadium was the venue for the region’s first international match played between Australia and South Africa, while also hosting three KFC Big Bash League games. The club developed drop-in pitches to be used at Metricon Stadium and worked closely with the Gold Coast City Council to ensure the ground’s facilities were at a standard required for elite cricket.
On the field, the Dolphins have been pioneers for women’s and all-abilities cricket. The club welcomed an Under 13 Female team into the Gold Coast competition for the first time in 2018-19, while also hosting All-Abilities and Indigenous Talent Identifications Programs.
Gold Coast players Matthew Kuhnemann and Max Bryant both debuted for the Queensland Bulls and Brisbane Heat over the summer having come through the Dolphins’ pathway and Premier Cricket teams.
All three Queensland nominees feature as winners of the 2018-19 Queensland Cricket A Sport For All Awards, with QC CEO Max Walters paying tribute to the contribution of all the state’s volunteers and community clubs.
“All of the players who have the privilege of representing their country, state or city started their journey at a community cricket club. Without the passion of the many volunteers who put in hard work at a community level, our sport doesn’t work, and we don’t see players achieving success at an elite level.
“The Queensland spirit is about mate-ship and community, which is why we see so many great initiatives and programs being run by our volunteers that make cricket an inclusive sport. On behalf of Queensland Cricket, congratulations to our Sport For All winners and good luck to those who will represent us at the national awards.
“We would also like to say thank you to the many volunteers, coaches and administrators who continue to drive cricket each week and ensure our sport remains one that can be enjoyed by all Queenslanders.”
Queensland A Sport For All 2018-19 Winners
Ambassador of the Year - Darren Werder, Mackay Magpies Cricket Club
Junior Champion of the Year - Mick Varidel, Western Districts Cricket Club
Junior Program of the Year - South Brisbane Junior Cricket Club School Master Blaster Program
Initiative of the Year - Mackay Cricket Association Women’s Cricket, Jo Oliver Arnold
Community Club of the Year - Rocky Heat Cricket Club, Rockhampton
Association of the Year - Bundaberg Cricket Association
Match Official of the Year - Paul Baker, Cricket Gold Coast
Partner Organisation of the Year - Life Stream Australia, Rockhampton
Premier Club of the Year - Gold Coast District Cricket Club
Volunteer of the Year - Shaun Rose, Bundaberg Cricket Association
Community Facility of the Year - Valley DCC, Lighting Upgrade