ICC Europe announces Regional Winners of Pepsi ICC Development Programme Awards for 2009

Mon, Jan 25, 2010 12:31 PM

ICC Europe has today announced the European regional winners of the Pepsi ICC Development Programme Awards for 2009.

Cricket Espana was awarded the Best Overall Cricket Development Programme Award, the first time since 2002 that an Affiliate Member has received the top award. Run predominantly by volunteers, Spain's national cricketing programme has grown dramatically in recent years with 2009 seeing a significant increase in the number of junior and school development programmes initiated.

The prestigious Lifetime Service Award was awarded to Folmer Christiansen of Denmark in recognition of his 37 years of dedicated service as Chairman of the Herning Cricket Club, whilst James (Jim) Bennett of Ireland was awarded Volunteer of the Year for his tireless services to the development of youth cricket and cricket coach education over the last decade.

Germany's cricketing association Deutsche Cricket Bund (DCB) was awarded Best Women's Cricket Initiative for their comprehensive calendar of cricketing events for girls and women throughout 2009. Germany also took home the best Junior Cricket Initiative for their staging of the Bavaria Cup, an indoor tournament featuring 19 teams from five European countries.

The Spirit of Cricket Award was awarded to the Israel Cricket Association's Cross Border Cricket Programme which introduced cricket as a means of bringing together Jewish and Bedouin children in the Negev Desert to promote co-existence and tolerance amongst those caught up in the Israel-Arab conflict.

This year's winners of the Best Promotion and Marketing Programme was the Estonian Cricket Association (ECA) for their successful filming of a cricket documentary which was broadcast nationwide as part of a current affairs programme resulting in a 300% increase in ECA membership soon after. The number of registered local Estonian players now outnumbers expat players in the country.

The Photo of the Year was taken by Rob O'Connor of Ireland. In the winning photo, Leinster Province players celebrate the match-winning run out of West Glamorgan's opening batsman in the U13 Welsh District Championships. The photograph sums up what youth cricket is all about: enthusiasm, enjoyment and friendship. (Compressed version of winning photograph is attached)

ICC Regional Development Manager, Richard Holdsworth commented: "These very well deserved awards are in recognition of the great work which is going on in our Associate and Affiliate member countries. The passion and enthusiasm for the game continues to increase and most of the programmes and initiatives have been organised by dedicated volunteers. We hope these special awards will encourage others to get involved in our great game."

The Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards, which were first awarded in 2002, promote excellence in cricket development and recognise exceptional performance and service to the game in the ICC's 94 Associate and Affiliate Member countries.

Nominations were received from national bodies, clubs, associations, teams, schools and individuals. The European regional award winners will now be put forward for the Global Pepsi ICC Development Programme Awards to be announced on 28 February 2010.

Lifetime Service Award
Folmer Christiansen (Denmark)

Volunteer of the Year
James Bennett (Ireland)

Best Overall Cricket Development
Cricket Espana (Spain)

Best Women's Cricket Initiative
Deutsche Cricket Bund (Germany)

Best Junior Cricket Initiative
Deutsche Cricket Bund (Germany)

Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative
Israel Cricket Association

Best Cricket Promotion and Marketing
Estonia Cricket Association

Photo of the Year
Rob O'Connor (Ireland)

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