With the challenges and uncertainty facing cricket as a result of COVID-19, South Australia’s Nick Winter believes it is one of the most important times to be an ACA Delegate.
Each State squad elects four Delegates, two male and two female. Delegates are responsible for keeping players up-to-date with ACA issues and communicating important information. They are also responsible for representing the views of their playing group and keeping the ACA up to date with player issues, concerns and opinions.
After deputising in the place of Callum Ferguson a number of times while Callum has been away playing in the United Kingdom, this year Winter joined the Delegates team in a full-time capacity, and is aware of the importance of this role.
"I think it's actually a really good year for me to come on board. I said to Callum Ferguson (co-South Australia delegate) that the role of the Delegate, outside of an MOU renegotiation year, is probably in one of its most important years," he said.
"I think with the implementation of the return to train and play protocols, everyone is a bit uncertain and things are changing every day. So, as a playing group, you need to stay up to date with the latest information. The ACA Delegates role being the conduit between the ACA and the playing group plays an important role in keeping everyone informed."
Winter said an open line of communication provides a sense of security for the players.
"This is their careers on the line, money is on the line and opportunities are on the line if games are reduced."
The ACA has been in regular contact with its delegates during the COVID-19 outbreak liaising over zoom meetings. This month the ACA held its first delegates session in place of the usual annual delegates conference where delegates from around the country come together to talk about some of the issues facing the game.
The development of our delegates, schedule, playing conditions and the impact of COVID-19 on the sport were some of the key topics covered in the first session.
Brendan Drew, ACA General Manager of Cricket Operations and Player Relations says that the enthusiasm of the ACA’s delegates has been evident amid very challenging circumstances.
”It’s been really pleasing to see how invested our delegates have been over the last few months. We haven’t been able to physically come together for our annual delegate’s conference this year but our delegates’ enthusiasm towards the first teleconference session was great to see.”
"We have taken the opportunity to spread the content we would usually cram into a two day conference into multiple teleconferences throughout the preseason.”.
This year, the ACA welcomed four new delegates to its team; Lisa Griffith (NSW), Lauren Cheatle (NSW), Georgia Redmayne (QLD) and Winter (SA).
Winter, who has a degree in International Studies in Politics, and is also studying Business Management said the role of a delegate closely aligns to his passions away from the field.
“The ACA has such an important role for the players and I wanted to be involved in it. I do have a passion for that sort of stuff and it ties in really nicely with off field studies,” he said.
“I had been to an ACA Delegates Conference before and I really did enjoy being around other like-minded, athletes from other states. So, it's something I was really keen to do.”