MCC and The Cricketer are again joining forces to highlight the incredible work being carried out across the country by volunteers in cricketing communities. This follows the success of the inaugural Cricket Community Champion Award last year.
The award seeks to find the true heroes of club cricket, who often go unsung despite their relentless work to help bring communities together using cricket as a medium.
The winner of the award will be invited to the England v India one-day international on July 14th 2018 at Lord's. Nominations are now open with entries invited up until June 15th.
As part of a truly unique experience including full hospitality for the day, the winner will enjoy the great honour of ringing the five-minute bell to signify the imminent start of play. They will join a list of cricketing greats who have rung the bell at Lord's, which includes Sir Garry Sobers, Clive Lloyd, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting and Kumar Sangakkara.
Last year’s winner, Julia Farman, had an unforgettable day. As well as ringing the five-minute bell ahead of the third Royal London ODI between England and South Africa at Lord’s, she had memorable encounters with Geoff Boycott, who was on tremendous form, in the Channel 5 commentary box, and David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, in amiable form on Sky duty.
She finished top of an impressive shortlist. Through coaching, scoring and fundraising, from Dunstable to Rwanda, Julia, from Bedfordshire, inspired with her boundless enthusiasm. Her cricket CV made her a worthy winner. She is the equality and inclusion lead at Cricket Without Boundaries, the UK charity that uses cricket-related activities to deliver health and social messages to communities.
She coached cricket to children in Kenya, Rwanda and Cameroon, raising awareness of HIV, working with Lancashire and Durham Cricket Foundations on female empowerment cricket projects. In addition, she has raised money and awareness through sponsored runs to bring an end to female genital mutilation. Her achievements have included a 10,000-metre run across London’s parks, the Richmond Marathon and an even more daunting one from Headingley to Old Trafford.
She is about to go to Jordan to deliver a refugee integration program using cricket.
The search is now on for a winner this year.
Guy Lavender, Chief Executive & Secretary, said: “I am delighted that MCC has joined forces once again with The Cricketer magazine to make this very important award.
"Without the tireless contributions of the many unsung heroes around the country, the recreational game simply could not survive and I look forward to welcoming the winner to Lord’s in July for the England v India ODI. Ringing the five-minute bell will be an experience I am sure they will never forget.”
Guy Evans-Tipping, Chief Executive of The Cricketer, said: “Grassroots cricket relies on the help of volunteers who contribute their time and energy to ensure recreational cricket thrives and is available to as many people as possible.
"Through this special partnership with MCC we are able to reward one such contributor to thank them for their tremendous work, and give them the chance to emulate some of cricket’s most legendary names – by ringing that iconic bell at Lord’s.”
If you know somebody at your club, school, community, university who you feel fits the bill, please nominate them by clicking here.