Warwick takes centre stage

Warwick takes centre stage

25th October 2007

Therese Warwick became involved with Ross-on-Wye cricket club four years ago, when her three sons decided they wanted to play cricket.

It all started, she says, when she took them for coaching.

"I just sat on the sidelines for a couple of weeks and watched and then I asked the coach if he needed anything doing which ended up with me making the teas,” she told ecb.co.uk.

“And then I began registering the children who were being coached and building a database of names and details.”

As a former advertising executive with uncommon levels of energy, it wasn’t long before her time became more and more occupied with cricket matters.

From the moment she stepped into the club and saw what it could be, the motivation that rendered her a workaholic in her pre-parenting days kicked in and off she went, like a whirling dervish, writing letters, making phone calls and creating new opportunities that until then were deemed beyond reach.

And then came NatWest CricketForce.

"We were talking about refurbishing the machinery shed but I started thinking about our lovely old wooden pavilion which was pretty run down,” Warwick said.

“I suggested it to the committee, who probably thought it was ambitious. But you have to aim high otherwise you never achieve anything."

The next few weeks turned into a frenzy of activity, seeking help from anyone she could think of to lend their support - or materials or time or equipment - to transforming the 1887 pavilion.

She organised a new £5,500 roof, new struts, new floor, a complete rewiring and much more besides, even sourcing some antique lights and old photos, to create a warm, friendly environment inside.

Warwick is currently organising a fundraising drive to secure the £8,500 the club needs for new fencing. She is also organising the annual club dinner, which she predicts will be a revenue earner for the first time and in between all those phone calls, has just negotiated with the local authorities to take a 25-year lease on two run-down tennis courts, which - with the help of a £6,600 grant from the local area network fund (which she organised) - will be transformed into junior cricket pitches.

She wants minor counties cricket at Ross and is desperate for more sport to be available to the youngsters in the area, which is one of the reasons why she already has the level one coaching qualification under her belt and is looking to do level two so she can go into the schools and help out.

She also found time during the summer to cut and roll the new junior cricket ground. She used an old Flymo - it took nine hours.

Warwick’s club secretary role at Ross-on-Wye CC embraces the following: secretary, welfare, membership and registration, advertising, marketing, public relations, press coverage, county board liaison, community liaison, fundraiser, grant applications, coaching in schools, gaining clubmark accreditation, NatWest CricketForce, joint events organiser for three years running, organiser of annual club dinner and other social events, and tea lady.

Her ceaseless dedication over that time earned her the behind-the-scenes award at the recent NatWest OSCAs held at Lord’s to reward the work of the thousands of people who volunteer their time and services to the game of cricket.

"I found it totally awe-inspiring and humbling to be there with two people who have been volunteers for 35 and 48 years respectively," she said. "I felt quite embarrassed but at the same time loved every moment. I felt valued and that is why we do it."

According to the NatWest OSCAs citation, Therese has ’motivated other members and organised a relatively mediocre club into a buzzing, vibrant centre for cricketing activity at all ages’.

It is something she is most proud of. "There is a great atmosphere at the club,” she enthused. “People talk to each other and everyone has become friends and I know it sounds silly but that gives me a warm glow.

“I am very proud of what the club has created. It shows what a little enthusiasm and determination can achieve."

Click here to watch coverage of the 2007 NatWest OSCAs at Lord’s on ECBtv.