A host of current and former England cricketers including Steven Finn, Graeme Swann, Kate Cross, Lydia Greenway, Jenny Gunn and Michael Vaughan turned out in force to recognise the efforts of grassroots volunteers at the NatWest Outstanding Service to cricket awards (OSCAs) for 2014.
The event, which was staged at Lord’s and hosted by BBC Radio’s Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew, brought together 400 people from across the recreational game to celebrate achievements in volunteering roles in eight different categories.
The list of winners included club cricketers, coaches, scorers and administrators and ranged in age from 20-year old volunteer Ashley Goldsmith from the Isle of Wight to the oldest ever winner of a NatWest OSCA 90-year-old Maurice Vaughan from Derbyshire.
2014 NatWest OSCAs winners:
Behind the Scenes: Steve Wales, Yorkshire
A North Leeds CC first XI stalwart, Steve has been the club’s chairman for 10 years, re-establishing the club at the heart of the local community after a period of financial difficulty. He played a crucial role in the successful rebuilding of the club’s pavilion which was re-opened this year.
Also Nominated: Adrian Jeffrey - Hampset Cricket Club, Somerset; Ian Milne - Old Blandorians Cricket Club, Dorset.
Building Partnerships: Paul Wood, Sussex
Paul has engaged with businesses through his innovative new ‘Chipps Breakfast networking Club’, resulting in more than 50 sponsors supporting Chippingdale CC. He also launched an annual Tenty10ty festival which attracted new players and boosted the club’s girls and women’s section.
Also nominated: Tariq Ali - Wolverhampton Cricket Club & Staffordshire; Rob Reed - Corsham Cricket Club, Wiltshire.
Leagues and Boards: Andy Watts, Bedfordshire
Renowned for his innovative thinking, Andy has changed the format of competitions to improve player retention and increase the number of teams in the Bedfordshire County League. Andy also introduced a women’s team to the men’s league – the first in the country to play regularly alongside their male colleagues at this level.
Also nominated: Stuart Munday - Tavistock Cricket Club, Devon; Sajid Patel - National Cricket League, Essex.
Lifetime Achievement: Maurice Vaughan, Derbyshire
A life-long servant of the recreational game, Maurice has been associated with Etwall cricket club for more than 80 years and recently celebrated his 90th birthday. He has helped increase the club’s membership from around 40 to 200 and his previous roles include a 40-year stint as club president and 20 years as 1st XI captain.
Also nominated: Ivor Chaplin - Brentham Cricket Club, Middlesex' Gerald Evans - Pontarddulais Cricket Club, Wales; Chris Johnson - Knebworth Park Cricket Club, Hertfordshire.
NatWest CricketForce: Andy Glover, Sussex
A tireless worker, Andy has organised countless events at Portslade CC including this year’s highly successful NatWest CricketForce and he also oversaw significant pitch improvement’s following the club’s elevation to the Sussex Cricket League.
Also nominated: Basingstoke & North Hants CC - Hampshire; Steph Reingold - Stanmore Cricket Club, Middlesex.
Officiating - Umpires and Scorers: Anne Vine, Hertfordshire
Anne is Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club Secretary, a 1st XI scorer and an integral part of the club. Renowned for her attention to detail, she conducts scoring courses for parents for junior matches, scores for the club’s senior teams and also organises scorers for the Hertfordshire County Cricket Association.
Also nominated: Avril Acres - Berkshire Officials, Berkshire; Keith Parsons - Irthlingborough Town Cricket Club, Northants.
Young Volunteer: Ashley Goldsmith, IOW
20-year-old Ashley is a volunteer for both Northwood Cricket Club and Isle of Wight Cricket. A true cricketing ‘all-rounder,’ Ashley combines playing at senior level with coaching and scoring every game for the club’s junior sides. He also manages the club’s social media feeds and updates scores on Play-Cricket and the local county board’s website.
Also nominated: Jordan Hobbis - Cookhill Cricket Club, Worcestershire; Alice South- Papplewick & Linby Cricket Club, Nottinghamshire.
Outstanding Contribution to Disability Cricket: Paul Roe, Derbyshire
A club cricketer for Darley Abbey CC in Derbyshire, Paul has devoted enormous time and energy to transforming disability cricket in the county. He played a leading role in establishing the Derbyshire Disabled Cricket Club nine years ago and has brought more than 75 disabled cricketers into the sport since 2005 including one who has achieved international recognition.
Paying tribute to the winners Mike Gatting ECB’s Managing Director, Cricket Partnerships said: “The NatWest OSCAs provides the perfect opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution volunteers make to our sport. The winners all play an important role in ensuring grassroots cricket continues to flourish and these awards are a fantastic way of recognising their contribution. Congratulations to all the winners- you are the unsung heroes of the game and your awards are richly deserved.”
Lee Bailey from NatWest said: “The NatWest OSCAs is an important part of our cricket calendar as it encourages us all stop to recognise and appreciate the just some of the army of hardworking and dedicated volunteers who make cricket possible. This year’s winners are all truly remarkable and selfless people who ensure that cricket can be, and is, enjoyed in their local community and for that we thank them for without their efforts, grassroots cricket would not be the wonderful game that we all enjoy today.”
Now in its 12th year, the NatWest OSCAs form part of the ECB’s volunteering programme which gives cricket clubs advice on educating, recruiting and rewarding volunteers.