ICC January 23, 2013

East Asia Pacific awards announced

The ICC East Asia-Pacific (EAP) Region has announced the winners of the 2012 Pepsi ICC EAP Development Programme Annual Awards.

The ICC East Asia-Pacific (EAP) Region has announced the winners of the 2012 Pepsi ICC EAP Development Programme Annual Awards.

Cricket PNG has won the award for “Best Overall Cricket Development Programme” due to the continued success and growth of their BSP School Kriket Programme. The programme reached 124,283 participants from nearly 300 schools in 2012, increasing a further 8,000 participants from 2011. This programme is a fantastic stepping stone into junior hardball cricket blooding the next generation of Lewas and Barrumundi’s. This continued growth is a result of the hard work, commitment and stability of the Cricket PNG administration.

The Cook Islands took out the category of “Best Junior Participation Initiative” for their innovative modified cricket games introduced in 2012. Games included Court Cricket (similar to Indoor Cricket) that could be played during lunch breaks as well as ‘one hand one bounce’ competitions at High Schools. A ‘National cricket day’ also took place where nine islands all played junior cricket at the same time on the same day. This has seen a 20% increase in U-19 players (male/female) in Rarotonga, as well as new teams on the island of Aitutaki.

The Cook Islands have also has taken out “Best Women’s Cricket Initiative” for their fantastic improvement in Women’s Cricket. 2012 saw their National Women’s team compete in the ICC EAP Women’s Championships for the first time. Then using their partnership with Northern District (ND) they were able to send 3 national players to attend ND Cricket’s Women’s First class week-long camp.

The “Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative” has been won by the Vanuatu Cricket Association for their Women’s Island Cricket Program. Using traditional Island Cricket a 15 week program was designed in partnership with government departments and NGO’s for the women on Ifira Island.

Japan took out the award for the “Best Cricket Promotion and Marketing Programme” for their Sano ‘City of Cricket’ initiative. This was the first step in creating a cricketing “Hub” in each region.

“Photo of the Year” has been won by Philippines for a photo taken at Sta. Ana Elementary school where over 200 school children took part in clinics run by Philippines and Northern Territory Cricket Associations.

Chris Thurgate from Japan has won the award for “Volunteer of the Year.”

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa