The ICC Development Awards were announced on Sunday. The development awards are a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts taken towards the growth and development of cricket by emerging nations. The member nations select all the countries that are to be nominated and then ICC takes the final decision on which country receives the award. The awards include recognition of mass participation programs, national team performances, digital innovation, and social responsibility as categories.
According to the ICC, the Development Program Awards were established to “recognize exceptional performance and service to the game of cricket in all Associate and Affiliate member countries, and aims to recognize these contributions among all levels of cricket development”.
Out of the 6 awards, there is an award for 100% CRICKET FEMALE PARTICIPATION PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR and ASSOCIATE MEMBER WOMEN’S PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR which highlights the development of women’s cricket.
The 100% CRICKET FEMALE PARTICIPATION PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR was awarded to the Rwanda Cricket Association for their collaboration with the Cricket Builds Hope programme. Cricket Builds Hope is a charity that uses cricket as a platform to tackle the social issues in Rwanda. CBH uses sports to fight against gender inequality, economical issues and societal constructs.
ICC stated, “The winner of this award will be an outstanding participation programme that either introduces new female participants to cricket or sees female participants who have had an initial exposure to the game transition into regular players, whether in a club or community setting.”
The programme comprises of women aged between 15 and 25 living in the Gahanga Cricket Stadium area in Kigali. The programme conducts normal cricket coaching and physical activity but also focuses on the education of the young females, this is directed at the huge problem of unemployment, illiteracy, gender inequality and child marriage in Rwanda.
🙋♀️ @CricketBuilds Hope works to empower women in Rwanda through the use of cricket 🙌
🎥 ICC Cricket 360 takes a look at how they achieve their brilliant work 👇 pic.twitter.com/MzcM8tJcFJ
— ICC (@ICC) June 29, 2020
The cricket and business education allow the women to follow on an alternative path like setting up a small business, playing professional cricket, or pursuing whatever they’re passionate about.
This unique programme by Rwanda Cricket Association and the charity group Cricket Builds Hope has formed a community amongst all the women, helping 300 women to embrace the sport of cricket and fight for social change.
Eddie Balaba, Rwanda Cricket Association President: “It’s exciting to know that the programme we started in partnership with Cricket Builds Hope in 2018 has been recognized globally. It is a wonderful programme that helps young women that live around the Gahanga Cricket Stadium to attain skills both in leadership and business management. It’s been running for the last two years, and we look forward to these women moving on to more empowered and rewarding lives.”
The four regional winners were Bhutan, Chile, Indonesia, and Scotland.