Mike hits volunteering ton
Junior coaching coordinator Mike Scott scored his maiden century for club side Mottram recently, and he did so without even donning a pair of pads.
Scour the scorebooks at the Tameside club and you will struggle to find a hundred next to Mike’s name, but this was a century of a different and altogether more rewarding kind.
Yes there were bats and balls involved, and probably a few umpiring signals too, but that’s where the similarities end.
Mike’s ton was accumulated behind the scenes, where his achievement will leave a legacy more enduring than three figures notched for the first team at the weekend.
He is one of a growing number of Cheshire youngsters to sign up to the vCricket Programme, an ECB-led initiative which aims to inspire a new generation of volunteers aged 16-25.
Candidates are recognised through the vCricket Awards when they reach the 25, 50 and 100-hour volunteering milestones.
Mike amassed more than 120 hours of volunteer work for Mottram in 2010, a figure that earned him a nomination for Volunteer Coach of the Year at the Tameside Sports Awards.
Thanks to his regular coaching commitments with Mottram’s juniors Mike has already clocked up the necessary hours to receive an ECB polo shirt, hoodie and a limited edition pin badge, as well as a certificate documenting his achievement.
“I think all cricket clubs in Cheshire should support the vCricket scheme,” said Mike, who is studying Geography at the University of Hull.
“Sometimes volunteers can feel undervalued, but this programme ensures everyone feels needed.
“Little things like providing polo shirts and hoodies can feel like a real pat on the back.
“It’s ideal to put on the CV, and when I start looking for jobs after university it is bound to count in my favour.”
Mike revealed his success on the vCricket Programme has inspired other youngsters at Mottram to increase the amount of volunteering hours they offer.
“One of the other coaches saw me wearing the polo shirt and he wanted one,” said Mike. “It made him even more determined to complete his log book.
“People have seen me wearing the clothing around the club and have asked what the scheme is all about. They want to know where they can get the stuff from and I tell them, by helping out your club.”
When clubs sign up to vCricket they must identify a volunteer coordinator, who is tasked with signing off the log books on the candidates’ behalf.
Volunteers can achieve their hours by performing a variety of roles, including coaching, umpiring, scoring, fundraising and assisting with the ground to name but a few.
Mike Woollard, Cheshire Cricket Board Limited’s Club Development Manager, is passionate about the vCricket programme and its potential benefit for all involved.
He said: “Clubs have got to realise there is not a lot of funding out there at the moment, and we have to rely on self-help as we did 15 years ago.
“I would say many clubs have an untapped resource in 16-25 year olds who can give both energy and time to volunteering at their club.
“I feel passionate about kids getting this formal recognition of their volunteering because I can see how much it will benefit them in the future.
“The fact that it benefits the club too is another brilliant aspect of the scheme, so it’s a win-win for everybody involved."