Cricket Ireland’s new Grassroots Cricket Committee to drive development of game at community level
September 18th 2020 by Craig Easdown | International
DUBLIN – On the eve of the Clear Currency All-Ireland T20 Cup Final – Ireland’s only national club cricket cup competition in 2020, Cricket Ireland has announced changes to its Committee structures to drive a more focussed and strategic approach to developing the game at a grassroots level across Ireland.
The changes will see the evolution of the former ‘Cricket Committee’ into a new ‘Grassroots Cricket Committee’.
This new Board subcommittee - to be chaired by Andrew Fleming, formerly a Cricket Ireland Board Member and North West Cricket Union Chair - will be constituted by members with a mix of skills and expertise from Irish sport, and members who have a first-hand knowledge of the club game here in Ireland.
In particular, the Committee will advise the Board of Cricket Ireland and Provincial Unions on:
• matters relating to the organisation’s strategic objectives around the growth and development of grassroots cricket;
• national participation in the sport across a number of targeted growth areas;
• community engagement strategies within the broader sporting community both here in Ireland and around the world; and
• any matter relevant to the delivery of the participation and grassroots engagement strategies.
While driving strategies for growth in general participation, the Committee will incorporate members with expertise in:
• marketing and engagement in sport
• women in sport
• diversity and inclusion
Ross McCollum, Chair of Cricket Ireland, said:
“The Board is currently developing a new Strategic Plan for the sport at a national level, and as part of this work have been undertaking frank and honest assessments of programmes and strategies we have in place, particularly how we are structured now that we have moved from an Associate to Full Member. While the sport has grown substantively in profile and reputation over the last decade, we know that the sustainability of the sport is key to driving that next phase of growth. To be truly sustainable at a national level we need to focus our governance and funding structures to ensure we are fit-for-purpose.”
“Part of that governance process has been reviewing a number of our Board sub-committees this year to ensure we embrace external expertise where appropriate. With the exception of the Cricket Ireland Board and Senior Management Group, the new Grassroots Cricket Committee will be similar to other Board committees in moving from a strict representational model to one which is a mix of external expertise allied to local knowledge.”
“In relation to the new Grassroots Committee, we found that with the advent of the High Performance Committee in 2018, new staffing particularly at provincial union level, and the formalisation of a new management group bringing together senior staff from each of the Provincial Unions and from Cricket Ireland, the work of the former Cricket Committee was increasingly being done by others. This meant the committee required a more defined scope, even a new purpose. This has now been achieved and new Terms of Reference endorsed by the Board.”
“Now we all recognise that the day-to-day management and operations of club cricket remains the responsibility of the Provincial Unions, however the new Grassroots Cricket Committee will be charged with pushing innovation and new thinking – to work with Cricket Ireland and Provincial Union management to solve strategic issues with industry-leading perspectives, not continue as business-as-usual.”
“As an National Governing Body, we have an important role to support the endeavours of our provinces, clubs and volunteers with national programmes that we hope can be delivered locally, through our own funding, through 3rd party funding or just by doing things differently, as is the case in other mature cricket nations and Irish sport. We hope this new committee – renamed to specifically shine a light on this area – will facilitate our endeavours in that regard.”
Image: The Grassroots Cricket Committee will look at national programmes
Andrew Fleming, Chair of the newly established Grassroots Cricket Committee, said:
“I am delighted to be the inaugural Chair of this newly evolved Committee and welcome Cricket Ireland’s renewed resolve for a greater focus on the grassroots of the game. As a Committee, we will champion the needs of club and community cricket, identify and advise on a range of strategies to break through traditional glass ceilings of growth.”
“The committee membership will be a deliberate melding of new external thinking in areas which are important and clearly emerging in new strategy consultations – most notably marketing the game; women’s/girls participation; and diversity and inclusion programmes.”
“But at the same time as seeking experienced people from outside the sport to assist our thinking, we will ensure the committee – in fact, the majority of the committee – includes people steeped in the Irish club network north and south, on the playing and officiating side to keep us grounded in the realities of the grassroots and club game.”
“To that end, I welcome Barry Tucker and Alan Waite onto the Committee to provide an in-depth knowledge of the local market and allow us to call upon their decades of experience in the grassroots of Irish cricket. A representative will shortly be confirmed from the Irish Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (IACUS), and then three further independent members will be confirmed in due course.”
The first meeting of the new committee is due to take place the first week of October 2020.