GRASSROOTS volunteers of all ages were honoured at an awards ceremony celebrating those who have kept the game alive in the county over the past 18 months.
Staged at New Road, home of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, the Grassroots Cricket Awards also reflected on Worcestershire Cricket’s support for local clubs and the opportunities it provides for people to enjoy the sport, whether as a player, coach, umpire, scorer, groundsman or administrator.
Twenty awards were presented at the event on September 22 including eight England and Wales Cricket Board and three England and Wales Cricket Board Coaching Association (ECBCA) prizes and nine awards given out by Worcestershire Cricket.
Trophy winners at the event, sponsored by Touch Developments Ltd, were:
· Super 1s Hub of the Year – Oldwinsford and Stourbridge Social CC
· Wicketz Volunteer of the Year – Jake Phillips
· Women’s Soft Ball Team of the Year – Cookhill CC
· All Stars Centre of the Year – Badsey CC
· Dynamos Cricket Centre of the Year – Overbury CC
· Community Partner of the Year – Malvern Active Communities
· School of the Year – Netherton Primary School
· North Worcestershire Tigger Award – Kevin Drew
· Cricket Innovator – Andy Alexander (Astwood Bank CC)
· Inspired to Play – Hannah Murray (Five Ways Old Edwardians CC)
· Unsung Hero – Bill Andrews (Halesowen CC)
· Growing the Game – Lisa Smiley (Bromsgrove CC)
· Connecting Communities – Dennis Lewis (Netherton CC)
· Game Changer – Jacey Foster (Droitwich Spa CC)
· Rising Star – Owen Birchley (Martley CC)
· Lifetime Achiever and Bill Jones Memorial Volunteer of the Year – Andrew Harrison (Offenham CC)
· ECBCA Young Coach of the Year – Jack Dudley (Stourbridge CC)
· ECBCA Coach of the Year – Liam Kelleher (Worcester CC)
· ECBCA Outstanding Achievement – Mikesh Jivan-Patel (Stourbridge CC)
Among the guests was ECB chairman Ian Watmore, who told attendees: “Cricket has been a massive part of the nation’s revival with the recreational game rising to the fore.”
Kevin Sharp, head of coach and player development at Worcestershire CCC, spoke about his coaching journey and guests were also able to enjoy the county championship match against Leicestershire.
Worcestershire Cricket chairman Kevin Drew said: “The executive team led by our head of participation and growth Craig Oakley have done a remarkable job in working with all clubs, schools and communities to ensure the clubs have not only survived the pandemic but thrived and grown.
“The only way that could be achieved is through the dedicated army of volunteers which our award winners represent.”