The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation walked away with two honours at the 2019 Business of Cricket Awards, held at the Ageas Bowl last Thursday.
Yorkshire’s charitable arm were recognised with the Community Engagement Impact Award for its Women’s Charity Cricket Tournament which the judges said went “way beyond being inclusive and has legacy and longevity”, and the Team Awesome Award in recognition of the Yorkies Matchday Support Team.
Commenting on the Women’s Charity Cricket Tournament, Will Saville, The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation Managing Director said: “The initiative was an inspirational Women’s World Cup at Bradford Park Avenue. Nasa Hussain (Project Officer) and Fatima Patel (Founder of Inspirational Women’s Foundation and Editor of Asian Sunday) came together to create a year-long programme, getting inspiration women from across Bradford playing cricket, beginning with women’s softball.
“Participants included solicitors, surgeons, teachers, and others from a wide variety of backgrounds. Activities started with playing softball before learning the game of cricket over the period of a year leading to a cricket world cup tournament at Park Avenue in the summer.
“The women were divided into different teams, representing different nations. It was hugely successful, and a large amount of the women now play within a cricket club that they have setup.”
Yorkshire’s matchday support team have previously been recognised after scooping the Volunteer Development Award in 2017. Beth Cook, The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation’s Health and Wellbeing Manager who heads up the Club’s volunteer programme, believes that there are many benefits for those wishing to volunteer.
“We have had the Yorkies team for five years who are our matchday support team,” Cook said. “They help out with our matchday operations, including tickets, giving freebies away and adding to our customer experience.
“Over the past few years, we have worked on how we can professionalise the programme and make sure that the volunteers get a really positive experience from it as well as the spectators. I think that this has contributed to us winning the award.
“I’d like to thank all of the Yorkies that volunteered in 2019. It was an extraordinarily busy season and their help made a significant impact on our customer experience. The Club view the Yorkies as an essential part of the matchday team, and I hope that this award emphasises the importance of them to Yorkshire Cricket.
“We have now opened up the application process to become a Yorkie in 2020. Our volunteer programme is open to people of all ages and is perfect for students looking to gain events experience, to those who are retired.”