ECB and Sky Sports have recognised three cricket coaches and one coaching team at the Sky Sports ECB Coach of the Year Awards 2013.
The ceremony took place at the Long Room at Lord’s and was presented by Sky Sports News presenter Adam Leventhal and Nottinghamshire and England T20 cricketer Michael Lumb.
The awards were part of the Sky Sports ECB Coach Education programme, celebrating the outstanding services to grassroots cricket from many of the country’s leading coaches.
Nominees for the awards were selected by their county development managers and consisted of all levels of coaching abilities and age ranges - from local club junior coaches, to district coaches and head county coaches.
Four awards were handed out to worthy winners on the night:
Sky Sports ECB Young Coach of the Year: Matthew Thompson, 22, Stocksfield CC, Northumberland
Sky Sports ECB Coach of the Year: Arthur Pickering, Wolverhampton CC, West Midlands
Sky Sports ECB Outstanding Contribution: Gareth Jones, Ordsall Bridon CC, Nottinghamshire
Sky Sports ECB Tutor Team of the Year: Devon - Matt Theedom, Tim Western, and Jonathan Mears.
Matthew Thompson, aged 22 from Stocksfield CC, scooped the Young Coach of the Year award. He was recognised for his work with junior county squads across Northumberland.
“It was great to have been nominated for the award, let alone to win it," he said.
"To be recognised and rewarded by Sky Sports and the ECB for doing something that I love is incredible. Tonight has been a dream come true and I have had a fantastic night chatting to the other coaches about the work we all do. I can’t wait to continue my coaching journey this year.”
Arthur Pickering, who claimed the coveted Coach of the Year award, has been coaching at Wolverhampton CC for many years, and is known for supporting the development of Vikram Solanki.
The Outstanding Contribution to cricket award deservedly went to Gareth Jones, who coaches at Ordsall Bridon CC. Gareth has been coaching grassroots cricket for more than 35 years and has played a pivotal role in developing cricket coaching in Nottinghamshire.
“Every coach here today is a true ambassador for cricket in England and Wales," said Lumb, who was part of the World Twenty20 victory.
"It was great to meet them all and hear about the difference that they have made in their respective counties. Tonight proves that we have a great foundation of coaches to help build the next generation of players. If these coaches continue to work in the game, our youngsters are in a great position.”
In October 2006, Sky Sports and the ECB teamed up to launch the Sky Sports ECB Coach Education Programme, a scheme designed to equip coaches with the necessary skills to deliver high quality coaching programmes at all levels of the game.