Community Cricket was honoured on the first day of the ANZ NZC Awards with Dunedin junior coach and administrator Gerard Finnie claiming the supreme Sir Jack Newman award for his tireless work in the Otago region.

Community Awards Winners Recognised at ANZ NZC Awards

Gillette Venus Young player of the Year – Fran Jonas, Auckland Cricket

Fran Jonas, selected for the Auckland Hearts at the age of 15 has been making waves in the game and is quickly becoming a house hold name. In 2021, the 17-year-old was selected in the New Zealand U19 side to play against a New Zealand Police XI, following a successful game she then got the call up for the WHITE FERNS to play in their ODI series against England. As part of the preparation for the series, she played in two warm-up matches for the New Zealand XI Women's team, taking two wickets. To round off her successful year, she has recently been named in the World Cup squad and made her debut in their first game against the West Indies.

Gillette Young player of the year – Jacob Cumming, Otago Cricket

At the age of 18 years, Jacob Cumming is one to watch. No stranger to the Gillette Cup, the young Dunedin player has been influential at both a club and school level. In December, Jacob was selected in the NZ XI team to play the touring Bangladesh team quickly followed by his inclusion in the NZ Development squad where he made 354 runs including 2x hundreds and 1x 50 at an average of 70.8 Jacob was the 4th top run scorer with 273 runs including 1x hundred 1x fifty at an average of 54.60 at the Gillette U19 tournament and recently was rewarded with his first cap for the Otago Volts in the Plunket Shield.

Club of the Year – Pleasant Point Cricket Club, South Canterbury  

Pleasant Point Cricket Club, once a club with 3 junior sides has now grown to the strongest club in the South Canterbury district, with 12 teams including an all-female junior team. The strength of their club is shown through their ability to maintain their memberships through the transition from Junior – Senior. They have a strong volunteer presence and have improved their facilities adding in grass wickets to cater for their growing club.  

Volunteer of the Year – Jeremy Dean, Eastern Suburbs & Wellington Wanderers  

Jeremy has been fundamental to the rejuvenation of both Eastern Suburbs and Wellington Wanderers for the 2021/22 season, as a proud member of both clubs & their respective committees. Jeremy’s contributions include; the development & execution of social media and marketing plans for the Wellington Wanderers & Eastern Suburbs, the restructuring of the Wellington Wanderers membership with profits being distributed to support college cricket in the region, supporting the growth of Eastern Suburb’s women & girls section as both a sponsor and administrator, administrative duties at Eastern Suburbs after the sudden illness of long-time club stalwart Gordon Dry. East’s needed someone to take the helm and they got one of the best volunteers in our game who put his hand up, leading by example as only Jeremy knows how.

Official of the Year – Brendon Davis, Northern Districts

During the 2021/22 season, Brendon has helped, coach, mentor and develop the future of Waikato Valley umpires, as well as Hamilton umpires. He is always first to put his hand up to take on extra responsibilities, or any appointments at short notice. Brendon has stood for 25 days in the 2021/22 season despite lockdowns etc and is the Regional Official Coordinator and Developer for Umpires. Brendon is also part of the Northern Districts Panel and is a highly regarded umpire as detailed across various captains reports, with his match management skills highly appreciated by players. He is composed, considered and consistent with his decision-making processes.

Community Cricket Activator of the Year – Frances Stewart, Cricket Wellington

There is a real buzz about females being active in cricket in Wellington & this would not be possible without such an active & passionate champion in Frances. She has made outstanding contributions in the community with her involvement & the development of many opportunities for more women and girls to be involved in cricket. Frances has taken the Yeah! Girls programme and adapted it to meet the needs of her community. She has created the young leaders programme to help players increase their cricket knowledge, learning key qualities of being a good leader and experience practical session with professional players. Summer Smash, another one of Frances’s initiatives, created a space for girls to come together to meet new people and engage with their local community.

Best Female Engagement Initiative – Young Leaders, Cricket Wellington

The 2021/22 marked the second year of the Cricket Wellington Young Leaders programme. Young Leaders is a youth leadership programme  that tackles this issue head on and seeks to increase the opportunities and number of female youth coaching, umpiring, leading and volunteering in their cricket communities. From this programme the 15 females have gone on to run Yeah Girls hubs, Manage teams, be selected for club committee positions and promoting the female game in Wellington.

Outstanding Contribution and Services to Coaching – Maria Lankeshwar (nee Fahey), Sydenham Cricket Club

Former WHITE FERN and Magician player, Maria has made a commitment to coaching over the last 15 years. She is passionate about coaching, a lifelong learner and is always looking for ways to improve. Alongside coaching the Canterbury Magicians for a season, she was the Director of Coaching at Sydenham Cricket Club. Here she has helped coach 40 junior teams, mainly working with the coaches to help them develop and be able to provide quality sessions to players. Maria has a huge passion for the women’s game and has driven Sydenham to the place where they have one of the best female cricket programmes in Christchurch.

Outstanding Contribution to Cricket – Anthony de Joux, Celtic Cricket Club  

Anthony has been an outstanding servant of cricket in the South Canterbury region for over 30 years. During his tenure he has been, and still is the Celtic Club President for 15+ years, on the committee for over 25 and has had more than 30 year attending to the grounds at the club. His service also spans over coaching and managing teams and selection of junior teams for over 25 years. Alongside the love for his club, Anthony is the go-to cricket man at Roncalli College, a school that wouldn’t have any cricket otherwise. To round off his service to cricket in South Canterbury he is currently serving on the board, his second term.

Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative: CMPL, Counties Manukau

Counties Manukau alongside volunteers Karminder Thiara, Daman Kohli, Balpreet Singh and Pankaj Kumar to lead the project as the “CMPL Leadership” team with a goal to create an opportunity for play which met the needs of the community. The result of this collaboration was the creation of a competition now called the “Counties Manukau Premier League” (CMPL). These competitions and events provide opportunities for enjoyable occasions in which people can share a love of cricket and connect with and enjoy shared cultures, whilst also mingling with people from throughout wider reaches of shared communities. There are 24 different teams participating which has connected players of Indian, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and Pakistani origins (up from 16 teams last year). 70 players have now joined additional Counties Manukau club cricket opportunities, showing that cricket is connecting people and creating memories. A highlight of 2020/21 was the final being live streamed and viewed by 4,500 people.

Community Cricket Collaboration Initiative of the Year:

Canterbury Cricket’s new D&I manager implemented a range of new initiatives aimed at growing the game across a wide reach of the Canterbury region. The outcomes of these initiatives have resulted in collaboration across a range of organisations. The multi-ethnic youth cricket festival brought together newly arrived migrants and refugee community, 120 girls and boys aged 9 to 13 years old from 15 nationalities came together for the festival of cricket. Forging a partnership with the Canterbury Muslim community, several changes were made to the standard Yeah! Girls’ hub structure to ensure these participants needs were met. Canterbury cricket also hosted an All-abilities cricket hub alongside Parafed Canterbury. This 5-week hub focussed on skill-based cricket activities for youth with an intellectual/physical disability, the youth were provided an opportunity to learn new skills, be physically active through cricket

Sir Jack Newman – Gerard Finnie, Otago Cricket

Gerard Finnie’s Junior cricket journey began when stepped into the role as the Albion Junior Cricket Club representative for several seasons, where his passion for coaching found himself involved with a number of junior teams. Junior Age Group cricket is a passion for Gerard, and it is understood he coached or managed Dunedin age group teams for at least ten seasons, including stints as the Coach and/or manager for the Dunedin Primary Boys team that competed at the South Island Primary School Tournaments.

When not involved directly in the primary school boys’ teams, he was involved as a selector and pivotal behind ensuring that these players got opportunities to progress. Gerard also assisted in the planning for Dunedin to host the respected event in 2016. He is a constant advocate for athletes getting the opportunity to experience the game he loves.

Following this, Gerard stepped into the role of Chairman of Dunedin Junior Cricket Association (DJCA), spanning across 13 years. Understanding the need for all junior participants to receive access to quality coaching. During that time, he also represented the Dunedin Junior Clubs on the Dunedin Cricket Association Management Committee, acting as a voice for Junior Cricketers around the city.

Gerard continues to give back to the junior game in Dunedin toady, taking on the role as junior club and secondary schools representative on the Otago Cricket Board sub-committee that governs the game for Dunedin schools and clubs.

Having spent many hours coaching young cricketers and helping develop their skills and mindsets to grow and compete, Gerard’s contribution to junior cricket in Otago sees him frequently go above and beyond expectations It is a testament to Gerard’s drive and desire that junior cricket in Dunedin continues to grow and develop.

With Thanks To

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