Despite the pandemic over the past two years, the Johnners Trust has continued to operate as actively as possible in the circumstances. In April 2021 we duly held our awards panel meeting via Zoom, when we once again agreed to support Blind Cricket England and Wales (BCEW) both for their annual Development Festival at Leicester University and their flourishing women and girls programme throughout the country.
The total funding for both these applications was in excess of £17,000. David Gavrilovic, the vice-chairman of BCEW, reports that after a year lost to Covid-19 the BCEW Johnners Trust Development Festival returned in 2021. More than 50 players representing clubs from across the country came together in Leicester for two excellent days of cricket played in the best of spirits. Bradford & District won the tournament after going through the weekend unbeaten.
The ongoing discussion about the future development of visually impaired cricket in England and Wales, involving the ECB, BCEW, the Johnners Trust and the Lord’s Taverners, is still in progress. There have been delays caused by the pandemic, but hopefully some real progress will be made shortly.
We also agreed in principle to grant, as usual, Johnners scholarships to talented young cricketers in financial need to help them progress in the game. Because of the pandemic leading to the late start in cricket activities throughout the country, we were advised by David Graveney to defer such awards until later in the year when the element of need will have become clearer. The panel did agree, however, to support an application from Cricket East (Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire) for scholarships to be awarded to 15 talented young cricketers (both girls and boys) on the Wicketz programme. These young players cannot afford the cost of kit and travel and have been selected for county age group representative squads.
Although David Graveney has now retired from his position as National Performance Director of the ECB, we are delighted that he has offered to continue to advise on and operate this most important part of our funding. Nobody in the game knows more about the emerging young players than he does.
Annual Dinner, Monday 8th November 2021
At our annual dinner on 8 November in the Long Room at Lord’s, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Trust and I am delighted to report that the dinner was a sell-out. We raised an excellent £18,000 towards funding our Johnners scholarships.
We were greatly looking forward to having Ted Dexter, the legendary Test cricketer and England captain, as our speaker, but as you will know he sadly passed away earlier in the summer. However, we were delighted to that his widow Sue Dexter agreed to join us together with Johnny Barclay, the former Sussex captain and Director of the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation.
Unfortunately David Gower, one of our Vice Patrons and former England captain, was not able to join us due to work commitments at the T20 World Cup. Sir Tim Rice, another Vice Patron, very kindly agreed to stand in for David to help us celebrate this great landmark.
Secretary of The Johnners Trust