Julia Farman has been named the winner of the inaugural Cricket Community Champion Award, a new competition introduced this year by MCC and The Cricketer magazine.
The award is given to recognise the fantastic work that is being undertaken in cricket communities up and down the country.
In addition to the official recognition, Julia will ring the five-minute bell at the England v South Africa ODI at Lord’s on Monday 29 May joining an illustrious list of previous bell ringers, including Sir Vivian Richards, Richie Benaud and David Gower.
Julia won for her contribution to the sport through coaching, scoring and fundraising. Of particular note, she is the gender equality lead at Cricket Without Boundaries, the UK charity that uses cricket-related activities to deliver health and social messages in sub-Saharan Africa.
With the charity she has coached cricket to children in Kenya, Rwanda and Cameroon, raising awareness of HIV and is working with Lancashire and Durham Cricket Foundations on female empowerment cricket projects in the UK.
In addition, she has raised money and awareness through sponsored runs to bring an end to female genital mutilation (FGM). Her achievements include a 10k run across London’s parks and an even more daunting one going from Headingley to Old Trafford.
Derek Brewer, MCC Chief Executive & Secretary, said: “Julia’s contribution to cricket is deserving of great recognition. Her impact on the cricket community is exceptional and has no doubt changed the lives of many.
"I look forward to welcoming her to Lord’s to ring the five-minute bell on 29th May.”
Her impact on the cricket community is exceptional and has no doubt changed the lives of many
Guy Evans-Tipping, Chief Executive, The Cricketer, added: “Julia is a worthy winner of the inaugural award. In her role there she has championed important issues and touched the lives of sub-Saharan Africans through our great game.”
Julia Farman, the winner, said: “I am really taken aback by winning the award. Cricket has such a great way of breaking down boundaries, and bringing people together from all different backgrounds, it makes perfect sense that we use the game to deliver positive social development for all.”
The Cricket Community Champion Award will be awarded again for the 2018 season.