OSCA winners recognised at Lord's lunch
Andrew Strauss, Jonny Bairstow and Charlotte Edwards joined a number of former England cricketers including Michael Vaughan and Mike Gatting to recognise the tireless efforts of grass-roots volunteers at the 10th NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs) today.
BBC Radio Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew hosted a lunch at Lord's attended by more than 400 people, who came together from across the recreational game to celebrate achievements linked to volunteering in cricket.
Gatting, the ECB’s Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships, presented Frank Wilkinson from Morecambe Cricket Club in Lancashire with the Lifetime Achievement award. Frank has dedicated over 50 years of service to the club - overseeing the ground transformation, developing a thriving junior section for boys and girls and creating new junior leagues across the district.
The NatWest CricketForce award was presented by Vaughan to Amy Rowlinson, who has made over £36,000 of savings at Bromley Town Cricket Club in Kent through sourcing supplies and labour to develop the club's facilities.
Carl Tupper from West Wittering Cricket Club in Sussex picked up the Young Volunteer Award from England batsman Bairstow. Carl has made a huge contribution to saving the club through fundraising, increasing membership and driving the development of the junior section, alongside taking on the club captaincy three years ago at the age of just 19.
A special award of Outstanding Contribution to Disability Cricket was presented to David Townley by Hugh Robertson, Minister of State for Sport and the Olympics. After losing his sight at the age of 40 David has worked tirelessly in the interests of visually impaired cricketers, becoming a leading figure in the formation of the Blind Cricket England and Wales domestic league. David is also heavily involved with the staging of the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup in Bangalore later this year.
Paying tribute to the winners, Gatting said: "Volunteers play a vital role in ensuring that our grass-roots game can continue to flourish and these awards are a fantastic way of recognising their contribution. I would like to thank each and every volunteer, young and old across the country, who has given up time over the last 12 months to help their local cricket club.
"It's thanks to the tireless work and self-sacrifice of volunteers that pitches get prepared, pavilions maintained and our games are scored and umpired. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners - you are the unsung heroes of our game and your awards are richly deserved."
Chris Long, Senior Manager - Sponsorship, UK Retail at NatWest, said: "We're extremely proud to be supporting the NatWest OSCAs again. It's so important to recognise and celebrate the efforts of volunteers at the end of another fantastic season of cricket, something this event does so uniquely. The winners of this year's awards are truly remarkable people without whom community cricket would not be the wonderful game that we all enjoy today."
NatWest OSCAs 2012 winners
NatWest CricketForce: Amy Rowlinson, Kent
Outstanding Contribution to Disability Cricket: David Townley
Building Partnerships: Paul Daniels, Kent
Young Volunteer: Carl Tupper, Sussex
Officiating, Umpires and Scorers: Lorraine Elgar, Kent
Behind the Scenes: Jonathan Jackson, Herefordshire
Leagues and Boards: Phil Williams, Warwickshire
Lifetime Achiever: Frank Wilkinson, Morecambe Cricket Club, Lancashire
Now in its 10th year, the NatWest OSCAs forms part of the ECB volunteering programme which gives cricket clubs advice on recruiting, educating and rewarding volunteers in all areas of the recreational game.