A partnership between Cambridge FC and the Cambridge Junior Cricket Association has earned the two groups a prestigious trophy at this year’s Sport Waikato awards.
The groups jointly won the Craig Investment Partners-sponsored Innovation in Sport & Recreation award for their efforts to collaborate on the development of pitches for use by junior footballers and cricketers.
The trophy was presented at a black tie dinner hosted by Sport Waikato at the Claudelands Events Centre, Hamilton.
Other finalists were the Lugtons’ Waipa Fun Run, the Meremere Drift Park/Drift Academy, RIDE: New Zealand’s Cycling Festival and Hamilton’s The Waterboy.
Judges said the award followed the “collaborative initiative of two clubs agreeing on a concept, planning the installation of cricket pitches, seeking council approval and obtaining funding to ensure the joint project is flourishing.”
As a result, more youngsters in Cambridge were able to take up cricket as a summer sport.
The partnership was nominated for the Sport Waikato regional award after featuring at the Waipa Sports Awards late last year.
The parties entered into a three-year memorandum of understanding to provide the opportunity to play junior cricket at the football club’s grounds in Vogel St.
The MoU covers a trial period of hosting cricket before the football club’s current lease with the Waipa District Council is reviewed. The lease is set to expire in 2022.
In the first year of the agreement, the cricket group laid artificial wickets between junior football pitches, allowing both sports to co-exist.
The cricket season (from Labour Weekend till March) dovetails well with football’s use of the grounds (May till September) and leaves spells for maintenance in April and October.
Main photo: Receiving the trophy at the Sport Waikato awards dinner on January 30, 2020, were (from left) Gary Kelk and Tim Bailey (Cambridge FC), Kerry Johnson (Cambridge Cricket Association) and Steve Thomas (Cambridge FC chairman).