A host of current and former England cricketers including Georgia Adams, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Marcus Trescothick and Fran Wilson helped honour the efforts of grass-roots volunteers at the NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket awards (OSCAs) for 2016.
The event, hosted by BBC Cricket Correspondent and Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew at Lord’s, brought together over 400 people from across England and Wales to celebrate the heroes of the recreational game.
Amara Carr from Plympton CC received the Young Coach of the Year Award for her work inspiring young girls to take up the sport. The judges praised how, alongside multiple coaching roles at university, club, county, and England Development level, she acted as a mentor for junior female players.
The NatWest CricketForce award was presented by James Anderson to Adam Wilson from Brondesbury CC. Following a winter merger with Primrose Hill CC, Adam transformed the annual event by bringing together members of both teams, parents, juniors and local NatWest staff.
The Blagdon Park Young Bulls picked up the NatWest U19 T20 Club of the Year Award. The award reflects how a number of players took ownership of their team including completing the U19 T20 Activators course and securing funding and sponsorship for the club. After the group games they continued to arranged friendlies and have reaped the rewards with players featuring regularly for their 2nd XI and Sunday side.
The Heartbeat of the Club award in partnership with Hardys was awarded to Tim Chambers of Hemingford Park CC by England cricketer Stuart Broad. Tim’s tireless work includes representing the club as chairman, fixture secretary, umpire, groundsman, tea maker, junior lead coach, marketer, U9 coach, school liaison, financial controller, fundraiser and occasional senior player.
Matt Dwyer ECB’s Director of Participation and Growth said: “The NatWest OSCAs are our way of highlighting and rewarding the contributions volunteers make to grassroots cricket. The sport relies on the incredible amount of work they put in at their clubs every year.
“Congratulations to all of our outstanding winners and I hope they have had a day they will never forget.”
Martyn Wilson Head of Sponsorship & Events at NatWest said: “Up and down the country, volunteers are the lifeblood of the game. Without their contribution, the sport would be unrecognisable. We’re incredibly proud to continue to support the OSCAs, which serve as a fantastic opportunity to recognise the vital work of the nominees that so benefits their communities and the game they love.”
Commenting on the awards, Stuart Broad said: “Days like this are what it is all about – recognizing the volunteers who do so much incredible work behind the scenes. They are the reason we all have cricket clubs to play at and enjoy. The game simply wouldn’t function without them.”
Now in its fourteenth year, the NatWest OSCAs form an integral part of both NatWest and the ECB’s volunteering programmes which give cricket clubs advice on recruiting, training and rewarding volunteers.
2016 NatWest OSCAs winners:
Outstanding Contribution to Coaching: Rob Arnold, Sony Stratford CC
Coach of the Year: Greg Smith, Legbourne CC
Young Coach of the Year: Amara Carr, Plympton CC
The Outstanding Contribution to Disability Cricket: David Gavrilovic
Get the Game On: Mick Bott, Denby CC
Heartbeat of the Club award in partnership with Hardys: Tim Chambers, Hemingford Park CC
Leagues and Boards: Andy Jones, Leicestershire & Rutland Cricket League
Lifetime Achiever: David Bowden
NatWest CricketForce: Brondesbury CC, Adam Wilson
Officiating – Umpires and Scorers: John Bates, Warwickshire County Association of Cricket Officials
Young Volunteer: Robert Steadman, Aldridge CC
NatWest U19 T20 Club of the Year: Blagdon Park Young Bulls
© Cricket World 2016