A property company have been nominated for one of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards as they continue to help boost cricket in the area.
Drum Property Group have been put forward for Business Community Partner of the Year for their work with Aberdeenshire Cricket Club.
For the fourth year in a row, they have increased funding to help Shire deliver the Redball Taking Cricket into the Community programme.
The initiative is an eight-week introduction to the game for primary school children.
Drum’s reasons for becoming and remaining involved in the project, to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds, are “to give children the chance to have fun playing sport”, “encourage a healthy and active lifestyle” and to “develop their physical, cognitive and social skills”.
Fife Hyland, from the company, said: “Our motivation for getting involved was two-fold.
“One, the principal shareholder at Drum, Graeme Bone, is a very big fan of cricket and a longstanding member and advocate of Aberdeenshire.
“He wanted to boost the recruitment of juniors into the club.
“And, secondly, from a Drum perspective, it gets kids active and into sport.
“Quite a lot of kids don’t fancy playing football, rugby or hockey, and are not catered for in the curriculum.
“Cricket is a mixed sport, with mixed skills. There are boys and girls, and there’s running, throwing, catching, hitting, strategy and teamwork.
“When you break down cricket into its component parts, there’s quite a lot going on.
“It’s a bit more niche and sometimes it’s the niche sports which get kids involved who might not necessarily engage.”
In addition to the funding they provide, Drum also help Aberdeenshire market the programme and their senior management attend school festival days – where kids showcase newly-learned cricket skills.
Drum’s input has been described as “proactive in encouraging” the growth of cricket in the community.
There have been three school festivals in the last year, featuring 14 schools and 500 pupils.
Fife added: “I’ve been along to coaching sessions myself in schools. I’ve also been to festivals.
“Stuart (Oag), our finance director, has been to five festivals in three years – he loves it.
“It’s a great day. There are hundreds of kids there, all having fun and getting involved. It’s what we want to see.”
Aberdeenshire Cricket Club’s programme, which has also seen them deliver an after school club at Hazlehead and provide lunch to kids at Kingsford, has grown to include 17 schools, 1,200 primary five and primary six pupils and 264 one-hour coaching sessions over 20 weeks.
There was also an Easter camp at Cults.
As a result of Aberdeenshire and Drum’s efforts to get fresh players into the game, Shire’s under-11 section has increased by 30 children.
The Sports Awards will be held at P&J Live on Thursday October 3.
Visit aberdeenssportsawards.co.uk to nominate a community partner, individual or club.
Nominations close on August 4.
Full categories and criteria below: