The 14th running of the well-attended Austria Cricket Club Wien Future Schools Cup took place on 30th/31st May at the Austria Cricket Stadium in Vienna. In two days, exactly 4,500 runs were scored by the 83 young players from 9 different clubs and schools from Germany, Slovakia and Austria – the highest number to date – played over 33 matches, on three pitches and in glorious sunshine, at least on the Saturday!.
Due to its popularity, the format of the tournament was changed this year, with the Future Schools Cup being just the first half of the program. It focused on the younger, less experienced players and particularly on schools development – with over 80 kids aged between 5 and 13 taking part in one hardball and one softball competition. The second half of the event, a tournament for older players, will be held in early July.
Regular visitors and friends from Munich and the British International School, Bratislava,
were joined by players from Hessen, Germany, and they added to around 50 young players from Austria. As ever, it was great to welcome teams from CCV91, Velden, as well as boys and girls from the Vienna Bilingual School and the Danube International School – schools where ACCW and SNASY have been coaching students. In addition, cricketers from PCC and UNCC joined the hosts, ACC, as part of the SNASY ACADEMY and Little Masters Academy programs. And of course, the ever improving and growing ACCW Girls squad took part.
The goals of the event, as always, were that the players should meet new and old friends, play a good level of competitive cricket, gain match practice and have fun! Through these goals come the development of players, both on and off the field, and these are the key objectives. Having been involved in the tournament now for six years, this development can be clearly seen – both in terms of the quality of the cricket being played by the teams, the number of players taking part and the performances of individuals.
Players found themselves playing not only for their own club, but also helping other clubs whose numbers were lower – and this further promoted the great spirit and positive and respectful behaviours seen. The keenness of the players was a pleasure to see – the willingness to play for any side as long as it meant more cricket. Feedback from the young players, coaches and parents would suggest that the goals were again achieved – particularly the fun!
As ever, the support of the officers, coaches, players and, importantly, parents of the clubs was vital to its success and the whole event was supported practically and financially by the SNASY Institute and the Austrian Cricket Association, with umpires and organisers from a variety of local clubs. I would like again to thank them all for their contributions – and particularly to Austria Cricket Club Wien for all the work involved in hosting another great Future Schools Cup.
(by Matt Toogood, Tournament Director)