NatWest OSCAs are announced
The 2005 NatWest OSCAs (Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards) were held on Monday at Lord’s Cricket Ground and the ECB are delighted to announce the winners of these prestigious awards.
The OSCAs event, which was attended by England international Vikram Solanki, is supported by NatWest and is part of the ECB’s Volunteers Strategy.
Partnerships have been established, for example with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, through the development of the volunteer programme which enable the recruitment and training of young people.
There are seven categories for the Awards and the winners are as follows:
Kayleigh Hodges, from Berkshire, and Steve Jeffrey from Cumbria were joint winners of the Young Volunteer Award, given to a volunteer under the age of 21 as of October 3 2005. Kayleigh’s involvement in the Street Games Cricket programme and her assistance with coaching ensured her win, while Steve is instrumental in the scoring and coaching of younger sides at his club.
The Leagues and Boards Award is given to a volunteer who is active at local league, County Board or County age group levels and this year it was jointly won by Doreen Browne from Middlesex and Jonathan Mears from Devon. Doreen made an invaluable contribution to Middlesex Cricket Board’s over-50 XI and to the Middlesex Championship League including being secretary, scorer and treasurer. Jonathan worked tirelessly in developing, promoting and making the West Devon Cricket Development Group work as well as organising courses for coaching, umpiring and scoring. He also continues to run the Devon U14’s side.
David Thomas of Norfolk was awarded the Local Community Links Award for those who have created substantial partnerships with volunteer co-ordinators, schools, voluntary organisations, inner city and deprived areas and relationships with other sports. He set up and currently organises Swardeston's schools’ coaching initiative. It has grown to provide summer coaching in 2005 to 12 junior schools and one senior school.
The Breaking New Ground category, which is open to the nominations of a volunteer who has provided an innovative approach to the development of the game, was awarded to Steven George from Buckinghamshire for his reorganisation of the club committee, forging a new partnership with the local church and creating a new fundraising scheme for the club.
The Get Involved category was won by Munir Ali of Warwickshire for establishing his own cricket academy and for running an indoor league for U15’s and U21’s in Birmingham.
NatWest CricketForce was the biggest volunteering cricketing initiative ever in England and Wales with 665 clubs taking part over the weekend of April 2-3 2005. This year’s award goes to Shifnal Cricket Club, which has used NatWest CricketForce to provide the catalyst to run initiatives such as an additional Saturday league team, U14 age group, Academy of Excellence for juniors, and an U13 girl’s team as well as developing new links with the business community.
The final category is entitled Make a Difference and is awarded to a volunteer who brings in new financial support. This year’s winner was Peter Birkby from Yorkshire because of his links with charity and the way he has managed to raise the profile of his club.
Pete Ackerley, ECB Head of Development, said: “I’m always astonished by the amount of time that people donate to cricket at recreational level and the OSCAs is our way of giving something back to them and showing our appreciation of their work.
“Without these volunteers, cricket would definitely not be in the position it is in today. Every cricketer, professional or amateur, owes something to a volunteer, who tirelessly give their time to the game for the benefit of others and we, at the ECB, want to give recognition for their continued hard work.”
Lee Bailey, NatWest Sponsorship Manager, said: “2005 is a particularly proud year for NatWest as we celebrate supporting English cricket for 25 years and, together with the ECB, we fully recognise the valuable contribution made by volunteers to the development of cricket in this country.”
The ECB and NatWest would like to congratulate the winners and thank them for all their invaluable support and hard work over the past season.