LESCHENAULT Cricket Club have outrun the competition and taken home the 2020-21 Community Cricket Club of the Year Award.
The club joins four other community cricket clubs, all from Western Australia, who were awarded top honours as part of Cricket Australia's National Community Cricket Awards.
After heading to the awards hot off the bat from being awarded the Western Australian Community Cricket Club of the Year in March, Leschenault Cricket Club President and Life Member Angelo D'Agostino said it was a 'spin out' when the club received the National award on May 20.
"For a club from country Western Australia to win an award that applies for the whole of Australia, in a sport that's played everywhere, is pretty cool. I have to keep saying that we won to believe it," D'Agostino said.
"The award is gratification that what we're doing is the right thing to do, and that it's been recognised."
The award recognises a cricket club in Australia that actively creates welcoming, inclusive environments and seeks to create sustainable participation and growth.
Leschenault Cricket Club were awarded for their full cricket pathway that offers a StarBlast program for children with disability, a Boost program for players looking to play representative cricket or progress into senior teams, and as level three members of Good Sports which promotes healthy behaviours in sport.
D'Agostino said the club had been slowly increasing its girls numbers and the Leschenault Girls Can program which started last year was a great way to do that.
"Having a higher number of female players is definitely something we want to work on. Cricket Australia wants cricket to be described as a sport for all, and that's exactly what we do. We've always had an open door policy."
At the club's open day last year, D'Agostino recalled a Pakistani family joining the club when the season began in October.
"We had a sausage sizzle and recognising they were most likely Muslim we offered an alternative to some meats sausages. Later, the husband came up to me and said his wife couldn't believe it, it was the first time they had been asked the question and were so appreciative because of it. It was great feedback on who we have at the club and how we operate."
Western Australian Cricket Association General Manager of Community Cricket Jo Davies said the awards presented a great opportunity to showcase the exceptional work community clubs and volunteers were achieving.
"I am incredibly proud of our national award winners and the work they are doing in creating, nurturing and supporting our local communities through cricket," Mr Davies said.
In addition to taking home Community Cricket Club of the Year, Leschenault Cricket Club Club Secretary and Volunteer Adele Givens was also awarded Volunteer of the Year, Female Country Cricket.
Givens said the award to her was recognition of all the people who had inspired her to become a volunteer since her son Rory began playing at the club some ten years ago.
"I started volunteering because I saw what the club was doing for my son's development whilst playing and I just thought, if they're doing all this for him, this is something I can do to help make this club be the great place that it is."
Since beginning as a volunteer, Givens is now the Club Secretary, Social Media Manager, My Cricket Administrator and works in the uniform shop, to name a few.
She said her recognition added to the immense sense of pride of the players and community at the Leschenault Cricket Club.
"Everyone is so excited. We really just try to make the club a comfortable environment for everyone in the community."
"There's so many great volunteers in our club. I'm the one who won the award but there really is so many volunteers that go above and beyond."
The Leschenault Cricket Club are now calling out for players from all backgrounds, ages and genders before the cricket season resumes in October.
New players can contact the club via their website www.leschenaultcricketclub.com.
"Anyone can play. From little kids to people with grey hair like me. Everyone is welcome," D'Agostino said.