A NOTE FROM THE CEO
As we gear up for a resumption of cricket competitions in the Northern Territory over the coming weeks, I wanted to provide you with an update on how NT Cricket is positioning the business to support our community as we navigate significant economic challenges resulting from COVID-19.
The phrase ‘adapting to the new normal’ is getting used extensively at the moment, and while now somewhat of a cliché, there is no doubt that we all have to adapt to a new way of life given the ever present danger of COVID-19. Associations and clubs across the Territory are feeling the impacts of a new normal with new measures in place regulating how we train and play, and like all businesses in the Territory, NT Cricket is also experiencing a new normal due to the economic impacts of the virus.
In our last update we identified that cricket in the Territory would not be immune to the economic impacts of the virus, with it being a matter of when we feel the impacts at a local and national level, not if. And unfortunately, we are starting to feel these impacts already.
Many of you will have read reports in the media in recent times regarding state and territory cricket associations being likely to receive funding reductions from Cricket Australia. This is indeed the case, with NT Cricket’s funding to be reduced by an amount between 25-45% moving forward. This significant reduction in funding from our national governing body, combined with local impacts to our commercial revenues, means NT Cricket’s overall revenue base has been drastically reduced.
In working through the financial implications for our business resulting from such a significant reduction in revenue, myself and the Board of NT Cricket have been clear that the number one priority is to ensure the organisation can continue to deliver upon our purpose of uniting and inspiring our community through cricket. At the heart of this is ensuring continued investment in, and support of, clubs, associations and volunteers. Supported by continued investment in a strong pathway for Territory players, coaches and umpires.
Unfortunately though, such a significant reduction in revenue means the way in which we deliver this support and investment needs to change. And this need for change has resulted in a requirement for NT Cricket to reposition and restructure the business, with the incredibly sad result being that we have lost some great people.
In light of the financial challenges facing the business, and with an understanding of the changes that needed to be made, Narelle Morrison, Head of Community Cricket, offered to take a voluntary redundancy. This offer was accepted and Narelle will finish her time at NT Cricket at the end of May. Narelle has been a wonderful contributor to the game during her time at NT Cricket, she has been an incredibly valuable member of the team and has played a critical role in ensuring our sport is more accessible and welcoming than ever before. Pleasingly, Narelle will remain involved in the game moving forward and her passion and skillset will not be lost to NT Cricket or the cricket community.
With Narelle departing the organisation, the Head of Community Cricket position will not be replaced. Instead, the Community Cricket and Pathways areas of the business have been merged under a new Cricket department, to be headed up by a newly created Head of Cricket position, with this change also meaning the Head of Pathways role no longer exists (more on this below).
An unfortunate result of this change is that the Community Cricket Manager position filled by Ben Hopkins now no longer exists, with Ben finishing his time at NT Cricket last Friday. Ben has been a valued member of the organisation during his time with us, playing an important role in supporting the Darwin and Districts Cricket Competition (DDCC) community in particular. He is a loss to the organisation and we wish him all the best for the future.
As a result of the changes, the Head of Cricket will be responsible for leading the Cricket department to service the cricket community and pathway programs. I’m delighted to announce that Darren Treumer has been appointed to this newly created position and will start with NT Cricket on 1 July.
Prior to the restructure, Darren had accepted the permanent Head of Pathways position after an extensive twelve month recruitment process, and we believe he will be just as well suited to the Head of Cricket role. Darren is well known to most within the Territory cricket community, being a local with a long association with the game, particularly with the DDCC. His skillset, experience and knowledge of our cricket community will be invaluable as we continue to grow and strengthen the game.
Darren’s primary responsibilities will be the development, growth and strengthening of cricket, working in partnership with associations, competitions, clubs, schools and indoor centres; strengthening our player, coach and umpire pathways; and working collaboratively with associations and clubs to increase the number of women, girls and juniors playing cricket in the Territory.
Reporting into Darren will be Megan White, Pathways Specialist, Matt Henderson, Cricket Manager – Alice Springs, and Nachiket Sant, who’s new Cricket & Schools Officer position will focus on providing administrative support to the Darwin Cricket Management Committee, supporting club and competition development in the Top End (with a particular focus on the Darwin and Katherine regions), and school programs.
I’m also pleased to announce that Neale Price has agreed to an ongoing involvement with NT Cricket and our cricket community in a consultancy capacity. Neale will continue to perform his current duties until later in the year, with a key focus on supporting Darren as he transitions into his new Head of Cricket role, and NT Cricket as we implement our new structure. Neale’s focus will then turn to providing strategic support to the organisation and talent management duties to assist in the ongoing development of players, coaches and umpires.
This is certainly a significant change to the organisation, but a necessary one to ensure we can continue to provide the necessary support to our cricket community, and in particular associations and clubs, whilst navigating our way through a challenging economic climate.
NATIONAL PROGRAMS & TIO STRIKE LEAGUE
We are continuing to work closely with Cricket Australia to identify what implications there will be for national programs such as the National Indigenous Cricket Championships and National Underage Championships moving forward resulting from COVID-19. What we do know for certain is that unfortunately there will be a need for some form of change to these programs out of necessity, but exactly what that change looks like is yet to be determined. We will continue to provide you with updates as the situation becomes clearer over the coming weeks and months.
We are also continuing to work through the implications of local COVID-19 related restrictions, such as the NT border currently remaining closed, on the 2020 TIO Strike League program. If the border remains closed it will obviously prevent interstate and overseas teams and players travelling to Darwin for the tournament, which would have a significant impact. As more information comes to hand from government over the coming weeks will be in a better position to understand whether or not the Junior, Women’s and Men’s tournaments can proceed. We will keep you informed as we receive further updates from the relevant authorities.
Despite the changing landscape resulting from COVID-19, we remain incredibly excited and optimistic about the year ahead, as well as the future of cricket in the Territory. Our sport will remain strong and there will continue to be plenty of development opportunities for players, coaches and umpires across all levels of the game.
We ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate through this difficult time together and in return you have our absolute dedication to uniting and inspiring our community through cricket.
Thank you for your continued support of our great game in the Territory. Bring on the 2020 cricket season!