It’s been a while since our last newsletter and while the season is winding down there has been plenty happening that is worth highlighting.
Without a doubt, the biggest news in our district recently has been the recognition of our district association Chairman, Malcolm Jones as New Zealand Cricket Volunteer of the Year. Here is an extract from the program at the New Zealand cricket awards held at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland in March:
Known simply as ‘Jonesy’ - Malcolm has been a tireless advocate for cricket in Otago Country. Current chair of the Otago Country Cricket Association, he has led the organisation into a position of strength and was instrumental in bringing first-class cricket back to Alexandra. This feat was achieved following Malcolm’s relentless voluntary work and advocacy for Otago Country.
“I Just want to thank everyone for their kind comments and 'likes'. Great night and really good to have Nic there beside me. Otago Country is a special place with extremely special people and I'm proud to be involved with you all.”
Our very popular Development Officer, Willie Miller, left our organisation in early March to pursue a building career in the Maniototo. We thank Willie for all the great work he has done for Otago Country over the last five years and wish him well for his new adventure. Willie leaves some big shoes to fill and we are looking at a replacement in July/August.
Also congratulations to the Waihola Swans who have won the South Otago Premier Cricket 40 over competition final again this season. Thanks to Francis Parker for the superb job he has done once again this promoting the South Otago competition. Francis not only spins a great yarn but managed to also be the equal top wicket taker is this competition.
Junior cricket in Central wrapped up on March 15 with the final round of club cricket under the new age and stage rules. The following day an Otago Country District tournament called the Buttar-Wilson Super Smash was played at Molyneux Park and the Dunstan High School grounds in Alexandra. The tournament involves players from year 5 to 8. Teams representing South Otago, Vincent-Maniototo, Queenstown and Upper Clutha play two rounds of T20 cricket. The winner of the Wilson Family Trophy was Vincent Maniototo and the Buttar Trophy was won by Queenstown. Congratulations to these teams and special thanks to all the coaches, managers and drivers who volunteered their time for these boys to play some very good cricket.
The Len Anderson Cup game was played during the last weekend of March with Omakau handing out a 105 run ‘hiding’ to Valley in the T20 game on Saturday. Len’s had a long career with the Omakau Club from the early 1950s to the late 70s and his sons were captains for the teams which was fitting given that Len had played for Omakau for years and his late brother, Pat, turned out for Valley.
Reunion organiser, Stew Burt, said the get together was well attended with approximately 70 people attending events over the weekend. The centenary of the Omakau club which is now under the Black’s Hill banner will be in 2022.
At Molyneux Park the pitch renovation has been pushed out to the end of next season which is a sensible outcome and one that will ensure the rebuild is not rushed. It has the support of NZ Cricket, Otago Cricket and ourselves and obviously the council and their new 'green spaces' contractor Delta. Delta take over on July 1st and we look forward to working alongside them. We also extend our thanks to Asplundh and particularly Gary Smith and Guy McCone who kept the ground in great order.
Emma Campbell has had another busy time with her involvement as our Summer Development Officer in the Queenstown/Lakes area. Emma is an enthusiast in her role and has a great passion for cricket having played the game at the highest level. We look forward to having Emma involved in the future and wish her all the best for her winter activities.
Our Administration Officer, Adrian Morgan, and Willie and Emma have worked hard over the summer to make sure our association has completed our KPI's for the 2018-19 season. The KPI's formed a big part of our Partnership Agreement with NZC and Otago Cricket in so far as funding is concerned. Adrian, Willie and Emma have worked really hard to make sure the Digital (CricHQ), Age and Stage and Coaching KPI's have been achieved in a timely manner. Adrian and the Board have also been working hard to complete the Inclusion and Diversity KPI and we are in the process of completing the Capability one. These will be well completed before the May 31st deadline. Adrian and Emma will be in Auckland over the next two days at the NZC Network and Participation Workshop 2019 learning how the new (2018-19) Partnership Agreements have gone and starting the planning for the coming year.
Otago Country Cricket is blessed with some great volunteers and we are so fortunate that they take time out of their increasingly busy lives to coach/manage/mentor and transport our young people to their various cricket activities during the summer season. It is simply a fact of country living that we must travel to play our sport which means early starts most weekends. Our association would like to say thanks to you all because in our eyes you are all superstars.
Keep up to date with any news of the association by checking out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Otago-Country-Cricket-Association-133940846657978/
Malcolm Jones (Jonesy)