Six SACA Finalists for SA Sport Awards

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Photo Credit: Twitter Cover Photo of @maddiepenna11

The South Australian Cricket Association has had a significant number of people, teams and programs nominated as finalists in the 2023 South Australian Sport Awards – headlined by the Adelaide Strikers WBBL Championship winning side being a finalist in the Team of the Year Award.

Congratulations to all involved for their nominations, it is fantastic recognition for the amazing work done to inspire and unite the South Australian community through cricket.

Adelaide Strikers WBBL side – Team of the Year Finalist

The Adelaide Strikers won their maiden WBBL Championship during the WBBL|08 season. Having always been one of the top teams in the competition, the fact that the Strikers had come runners-up twice already made the WBBL|08 win extra special. It was a dominant finals series by the Strikers, with all their players contributing to a 10-run win against the Sydney Sixers in the Final. Off the field, the whole group are brilliant role models that advocate the sport and inspire the next generation of female cricketers – proving there is a pathway and place for females in cricket.

Strikers WBBL and SA Scorpions Head Coach Luke Williams – Coach of the Year Finalist

Luke Williams has built an incredible coaching CV since taking over as Head Coach of both the Adelaide Strikers (WBBL) and SA Scorpions (WNCL) in 2019. He has coached three professional women’s teams to six Grand Finals in the last two years, winning two titles in the last year – first with the Adelaide Strikers in WBBL|08 and then in The Hundred in the UK as an assistant coach for the Southern Brave. Luke’s unique ability to build strong relationships with staff and players is what makes him such a successful coach.

Brett Nitschke – Volunteer of the Year Finalist

Brett is president of the Light Pass Cricket Club and coaches their Under 17 side, as well as being president of the Barossa and Light Cricket Association. He is passionate about junior cricket in the region, looking to maximise participation and grow the sport across age groups and genders. This passion spills over into coaching representative sides from the area. Brett has enormous respect from players, parents and fellow volunteers across the Barossa and Light Cricket Association for both the enormous amount of administrative work he takes on along with his varied hands on roles. His work in ensuring that junior players feel supported across the association is just one example of his exemplary work supporting cricket.

Shane Bernhardt – Administrator of the Year Finalist

Not only has Shane contributed selflessly and significantly to cricket in the past 12 months, he has just recently retired from the South Australian Cricket Association following 21 years of tireless service. Shane is someone that has encouraged and promoted the next generation of sporting talent with his positive attitude and genuine care for the people he works with. It is not an exaggeration to say that Shane has changed the landscape of cricket in South Australia during his tenure at SACA, and the last 12 months have been no different. More children are playing cricket than ever before, with a particular highlight the huge increase in women and girls taking up the game. Shane has championed this growth with passion and energy, bringing others along the journey with him.

SACA’s Daughters and Dads program – Active Inclusion Award Finalist

The Daughters and Dads Program aims to remove barriers to female participation to cricket whilst providing a social connection opportunity between daughters and their dads. Run as a nine-week program each session is specifically designed to provide tools that breakdown participation barriers. The Daughters and Dads Cricket program has very quickly become the jewel in SACA’s Women and Girls strategy, as it not only provides an inclusive and welcoming pathway for girls into junior club cricket it also contributes to building genuine connections and relationships between fathers and their daughters.

Aboriginal Junior Development Academy – Reconciliation Award Finalist

The SACA Aboriginal Junior Development Academy was developed to address the lack of cricket focused programs in the 12-16 age bracket, which has resulted in players leaving the game early. The Aboriginal Junior Cricket Academy strives towards increasing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cricketers to participate and excel within cricket. The Academy features 15 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who play cricket, with them participating in the Aboriginal Cricket Carnival and trial matches against school teams.

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