Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The ICC celebrates the positive impact of cricket on communities during an unprecedented 2020

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Photo Credit: Cricket Namibia

The ICC celebrates the power of cricket on communities across the world this International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

  • 20 regional winners from 17 countries across four categories crowned ICC Development Award regional winners on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
  • ICC Development Awards 2020 global winners to be announced on 20 April

The ICC today celebrates the power of cricket on communities across the world this International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in announcing the regional winners of the ICC Development Awards 2020 in what has been an incredibly challenging year for our Members.

Across four categories, 20 regional winners from 17 countries whose inspiring stories represent how cricket continued to be a driving force for change and a sport for all – even in an unprecedented year. From Peru to Malaysia, Namibia to Italy, Kuwait to Nepal, ICC Associate Members continued their work to grow the game: empowering individuals and reaching out to new communities through innovation, determination and with great passion. There are numerous incredible examples of how cricket assisted the COVID-19 relief effort in countries across the world. 

The regional winners identified below will be put forward as the ICC Development Awards global nominees, with four winners to be announced via the ICC channels on 20 April.

ICC Development Initiative of the Year

Namibia, Argentina, Nepal, Vanuatu, and Italy are the regional winners in the Development Initiative of the Year category, showcasing how cricket is becoming accessible to more people than ever before.

During lockdown Cricket Namibia created professional development opportunities for its workforce, players, and coaches to foster excellence. Seven admin staff completed 27 academic courses, including in project management, marketing, risk management and leadership. Coach education programmes were also a high priority, with 281 coaches completing courses at various levels.

Cricket Argentina designed 17 free courses in Spanish to develop 257 more coaches, umpires, and scorers in 2020. Coaches who were a part of the programme went on to establish three new clubs. The course material was made available to the rest of the region, and seven other Spanish-speaking countries benefitted from the initiative to help engage people in their local language.

With COVID-19 restrictions lifted and cricket returning to Nepal, around 2000 women and 1900 men featured in local tournaments in the country, providing the opportunity to engage new sponsors and broadcasters during the national events. 

Vanuatu Cricket live-streamed the Women’s T20 Grand Finals for the first time ever-amassing 350,000 views. The exposure led the national team to visit COVID-19 impacted development programmes to engage and attract more women to participate with the set-up of four brand new teams.

The CricketMania campaign delivered by Cricket Italy to promote the sport has become a game-changer for the sport in the country, bringing cricket to a much wider range of 11-18-year-olds through schools, clubs, and sport body networks than before. The recognition created by the campaign resulted in cricket being included in the National School Games list, enabling Cricket Italy to reach 8797 secondary schools and 8868 high schools.

100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year

The 100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative regional winners recognise five engaging programmes for girls and women, with an emphasis on inclusivity and empowerment. 

Cricket Brazil awarded 14 professional central contracts to the women’s national team, becoming the first Associate Member to fully contract the women’s team before the men’s, raising the status of the game in Brazil and benefitting 2000 girls who play regularly.

The Danish Cricket Federation identified that if they wanted to bring more young women into cricket, they had to speak to them in their language and listen to what they wanted. They therefore partnered with young female micro-influencers on Instagram to connect with new audiences. The energy and passion they brought into the social media campaign was carried over into online digital coaching sessions for new recruits and revitalized the ecosystem where 50 women attended the first kick-off cricket session.

In Nigeria, the Girls Aspire initiative uses cricket as a tool for girls’ empowerment and socio-cultural change. Ijeoma Okigbo, a journalist, took what she had learnt from an ‘introduction to cricket’ course to a school in Gauraka, Niger State, and coached junior girls from underprivileged backgrounds. The 50 girls, who have gained confidence and respect, have become part of a cricket community.

Samoa International Cricket Association’s Healthy Nanas programme is an initiative delivered in partnership with the Australian Government as part of the Team Up project. It offers women and girls a platform to participate in sport and ensure a healthy lifestyle, while also serving as a safe space to network and discuss issues in their personal lives and community – be it domestic violence, finance or health.

In Malaysia, players were ambassadors for #GirlsForGoals and #Cricket4WomensAid, where they supported online fundraising for survivors of domestic abuse and spoke of how sports had transformed their lives. The Cricket Adiwira entry-level programme provided the opportunity for women and girls to play, setting themselves the target of 128 students playing in each of the 269 participating schools, with at least half of them female.

Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year

Bhutan, Uganda, Indonesia, Italy, and Peru have been recognized for their outstanding work in using cricket as a vehicle for social change or development within communities from all corners of the world.

In 15 of Bhutan’s cricket communities, players, coordinators, coaches, and office staff volunteered at hospitals, quarantine facilities, and call centers preparing meals, delivering food, and patrolling to ensure people followed protocols to assist with the COVID-19 response effort.

The Uganda Cricket Association helped those within their network most impacted by COVID-19 including 100 school teachers to provide them food and financial assistance whilst they were unable to work due to the ongoing lockdown. 

Cricket Indonesia’s goal was to promote the healthy messages set out by the Government and ensure that cricket was positioned as a leader in Indonesian society. This was delivered through a webinar series, social media engagement, videos of how to play cricket at home, and the distribution of free masks in the office’s local community. 

Cricket Italy partnered with Treedom to help offset 11,000kg CO2 emissions produced by the Member’s operations by formally planting 200 trees in Cameroon.

Peru aimed to inspire movement and connection, whilst promoting the well-being of young people during lockdown. What began as a WhatsApp group for children aged 4-14 to exercise at home, expanded to Zoom classes and an online summer academy for older students, as well as a teacher training course.

ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year

Promotion of cricket activities in emerging nations and engaging fans is incredibly important to grow the sport and five worthy regional winners are being celebrated for their innovative work in 2020. 

Vanuatu Cricket, with a following of only 12,000 on their Facebook Page utilized their digital platforms to reach over 16 million people through live streaming of the Vanuatu T10 Blast and The Women’s T20 Grand Final. The results of this initiative meant more people were able to engage with Associate cricket, capitalising on the opportunity presented by COVID-19’s impact on the availability of live sport.

The fun and engaging #TrainAtHome digital campaign focused on the best of the United States national team players and support staff bringing simple, effective cricket skills-based drills to the homes of fans to encourage them to keep active whilst staying safe during lockdown, resulting in 1.2 million Twitter impressions.

The Fairway Super Series aimed at providing competition for promising junior cricketers ahead of national squad selection, replicated a modern T20 franchise event with Jersey Cricket Board delivering an online draft and match highlights to help the promotion of the event. Highlights of the four-team event reached a wide audience and raised the visibility of the teams’ charitable partners.

Cricket Namibia delivered a two-month campaign in celebration of being crowned an ICC Development Award winner in 2019, consisting of social media posts and radio messages. It reached over 300,000 people, grew fan engagement for the men’s national team and Cricket Namibia‘s brand.

Finally, Kuwait engaged one of the Middle East’s top digital media companies via a sponsorship programme where Kuwait Cricket’s social media channels are professionally managed with a comprehensive engagement programme of daily posts and updates to help create heroes within the cricket community.

ICC General Manager – Development, William Glenwright said: “The ICC Development Awards are a recognition of the work that provides people and communities the opportunity to engage with our incredible sport, with 20 brilliant programmes in 2020 celebrated.

“During a yearwhere so many lives and communities were impacted in different ways – and on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – it is inspiring to share, the stories of the regional winners that helped people to feel connected with and participate in physical activity during a time where traditional cricket activity was so heavily restricted.

“We are extremely proud of what the Members achieved in 2020. Their innovative approach to delivering cricket and their unrelenting commitment to growing a sport for all, focusing on inspiring more women and girls in particular to get involved at all levels is something they should all be proud of. I look forward to seeing which four entries will be crowned global winners on 20 April.”

William Glenwright, ICC General Manager – Development announcing the regional winners of the ICC Development Awards 2020

Photo Credit: Twitter Profile Photo of @WillGlenwright


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