NatWest OSCAs awarded
No red carpet and usually no fanfare, but the ECB and NatWest shone a spotlight on the outstanding contribution made to cricket by volunteers at the fifth annual OSCAs ceremony at Lord’s.
Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Minister for Sport, joined Surrey's Mark Ramprakash, England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards and Rosalie Birch at the ceremony.
Sutcliffe said: “The England and Wales Cricket Board have a world-class volunteering programme, which includes annual events such as the NatWest OSCAs and NatWest CricketForce.
“Volunteering and sport are essential for the wellbeing of our communities and I am very pleased to support the OSCAs and congratulate the seven winners.”
Seven awards were made to recipients from across the country in a range of categories, including lifetime achiever which was presented to David Cherry of Oxfordshire for his role as ‘Mr Cropredy Cricket Club’.
Cherry has been associated with the club for nearly 60 years, including stints as captain during the 1970s and 80s. In 1995, he secured a purpose-built ground and new pavilion for the club but still takes time to umpire, assist with facilities, and run the Brackley district mid-week league.
Steven Benson from Cumbria was awarded the Young Volunteer award having been described in his nomination as the ‘heartbeat’ of his club.
The Building Partnerships award was won by Philip Spong from Devon for his extensive work in creating sustainable links with local schools.
The NatWest CricketForce Award was awarded to Shepperton Cricket Club, who took part in the largest volunteering event in sport in 2007 - and demolished and rebuilt their entire pavilion, largely with help from volunteers.
The special award from NatWest, ‘Another Way’, was won by Wendy Bedeau from Bedfordshire for her innovative and inclusive approach to engaging youngsters in her community by marrying cricket and faith.
David Moseby from Devon was awarded the Leagues and Boards OSCA for his work in creating, training and providing umpires across the county.
The Behind the Scenes OSCA was awarded to Therese Warwick from Herefordshire, who was described in her nomination as ‘wonder woman’, taking roles including club secretary, welfare officer, membership and registration, grant applications, schools coaching and community liaison.
ECB chief executive David Collier, said: “We received hundreds of excellent nominations for the 2007 NatWest OSCAs and I was delighted to welcome all nominees and our seven worthy winners to Lord’s today.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our game. Without them, cricket simply would not survive and the OSCAs ceremony is a small way of thanking our army of volunteers and celebrating with them the massive contribution they make both to their communities and to the whole of cricket.”
Caroline Carpenter, head of brand strategy, NatWest said: “NatWest recognises the invaluable commitment volunteers make to the development of cricket in the UK. I am so pleased NatWest is part of this event which pays tribute to all the unsung heroes of the game.”