BlackCaps buzz still alive at Birkenhead midget prizegiving

Place a plate of sausage rolls in the same room as any child, and that’s where their focus will be. It’s a vaguely cruel tradition at junior prizegivings – to expect kids to sit quietly in a room when there are sausage rolls and lamingtons placed tantalisingly close nearby. But making them wait works, so we go with it every year.

But the 2014-2015 midget and junior prizegivings seemed to have a bit more excitement about them than the promise of a fat and sugar-filled feast. Plenty of children wore BlackCaps shirts, from beige to the latest gear and there was a residual buzz about their heroes’ achievements in the Cricket World Cup. That was reflected by the coaches in the awards they crafted too – plenty of certificates went out in the names of Trent Boult, Corey Anderson, Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee. How great it was that the kids knew who the BlackCaps were again. Such was the benefit of the Cricket World Cup, a benefit we must build on next season.

A few coaches even got a bit emotional at seeing their summer charges again – it seems there was a genuine passion for the 2014-2015 season from the grass roots to the elite. There were some heartfelt speeches all of which spoke of the improvement in the players from the start of the season when plenty didn’t know to run, to the end when they didn’t have to because they were hitting fours.

Despite the season having finished more than a month ago, there was a good turn-out of players who, as you might expect, warmed up before the prizegiving by batting and bowling out on the field.

HAVE-A-GO AND KIWI CRICKET (AKA MIDGET)
Chairman Andrew Gale explained that this season we were left a bit in the lurch with the late withdrawal of Takapuna from our regular Saturday morning midget competition and that wasn’t helped by the fact we didn’t have a midget convenor to help pull a rabbit out of a hat.

In the end we stuck with our Saturday competition but it did mean there were some mismatches in ability over the course of the season and things were a little more disorganised than we would have liked. We hope to appoint a midget operations director asap – nominations need to happen before the July AGM – to help us with ideas and organisation for next season. For example, are we happy with Saturday morning cricket? It seems it may be the easiest for parent involvement to stick with the traditional day but we welcome your feedback. What ideas do you have to grow the numbers? (In the next few weeks we will post a position description on the website.) Other than the beginning and the end of the season things tick over pretty well. You can email us office@birkenheadcricket.co.nz or message us on Facebook with ideas and if you’re interested in being midget convenor. We spied a few likely contenders on the weekend!

The web editor is still waiting on all the team reports (please email yours to montywrites@vodafone.co.nz) so these will go up for posterity over the next week. NEW: See them here.

The Have-a-Go team of the year: HAG Evans
Kiwi Team of the year: Kiwi Jeavons
Midget player of the year: James Marshall
Felix Prescott spirit of cricket: This award goes to a child who, during the course of the season, discovers their love and talent for the game of cricket. Daniel Peter

Well done to everyone and parents, if we didn’t get a good picture of your beloved offspring getting their award, it’s because they were too fast! When they run there and run back they are hard to snap. (We’re betting those same kids made it to the sausage rolls first too…)

Well done to all Kiwi and Have-a-go players, and their parents, supporters  and everyone involved. We’d love to see you back next season. Keep an eye out for the enrolment dates on the website, Facebook and Twitter.

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