2018 Good Sports Awards: National Club of the Year
Bluff Point Strathalbyn Cricket Club are Good Sports 2018 National Club of the Year.
“The safest and friendliest club in the outback” and “the heart of cricket” are just some of the ways the Bluff Point Strathalbyn Cricket Club has been described. Most importantly, achieving this kind of reputation has come through a lot of hard work, passion and commitment by the Western Australian sports club.
It’s for this reason that they are our Good Sports 2018 National Club of the Year.
Club President Jayden Pinto says Bluff Point Strathalbyn’s transformation — home of the mighty Muir Park Sharks — has been through since joining the Good Sports program in 2017 has been staggering.
Changing cricket club ‘old ways’ for the better
“In the past, our club was very orientated in the ‘old ways’,” he says. “Train, beers, drive home etc. This all without any regard to how it may affect our juniors or other club members.
“The new leadership group decided that we wanted to be a better community but also a better example. We don’t want to be seen as the rough, unorganised club. We wanted to be the benchmark.”
Jayden says the club had lost members over the past years to other clubs, because they had better practices in place. A few years ago, they lost their under 14s and under 17s sides, therefore leaving them with only under 12s in their junior league. The situation “decimated our club’s depth and progression,” Jayden says.
“So last year, with the help of Good Sports, we made the change. We adopted all new policies, from Tackling Illegal Drugs, to Designated Driver policies … lo and behold, we noticed the atmosphere around the club improved tenfold!”
Making it easier to join the club
Jayden believes “the most important change I’ve noticed around the club is the atmosphere. Our club has found more clarity and direction. Our players know and understand the expectations of how they need to carry themselves and our reputation in the wider community has changed to a professional sporting association, which is sought out by future members for our family-friendly and safe atmosphere.”
The club focuses on making their beloved sport as accessible as possible. Therefore, anyone who wants to give it a go can get involved.
“The prize money from winning National Good Sports Club of the Year will go towards buying club equipment for each grade of juniors comprising of bats, pads, helmets, gloves, boxes, stumps, balls and anything else they may need to play the game,” Jayden says. “This will lessen the financial burden on the families who want their kids to play but may not be able to afford gear themselves.
“We have gone from struggling for numbers, to having members of the community approach us to join the club. Our external image has become more professional and appealing to the local community and we have Good Sports to thank for that.”