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Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards Winners 2018

Every season Durham Cricket Board, in cooperation with Natwest Bank, award the county’s most devoted cricket volunteers at the annual Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs).

The awards recognise the input of club volunteers towards cricket, acknowledging their truly exception contributions and crucial role in shaping the game within the county.

Here are the winners in the eleven award categories in 2018:

Heartbeat of the Club
Chris Jones, Lintz Cricket Club

Chris has a 36-year association with Lintz and currently holds the position of secretary and chairman. He first joined the club’s committee 26 years ago and has fulfilled a coaching role for the last eight years working with all the junior age groups and is passionate about inclusion and opportunity for all participants. Chris’s workload is exceptional and extends to assisting with ground preparation, organising awards evenings, fundraising and membership recruitment. Chris’s commitment and his non-stop efforts mark him out as an outstanding volunteer who fully deserves this award.

David Oliver, North Yorkshire and South Durham Premier League

David is the North Yorkshire and South Durham Premier League’s Umpire Coordinator and ECB ACO Training Officer on Teesside. He serves on the leagues hardworking management committee as well as four other sub-committees. David copes with the considerable challenges and complexities of modern-day league administration with energy and integrity. A skilled umpire tutor/ assessor, his professional approach has provided support to numerous aspiring officials before giving them appropriate opportunities to umpire. David is held in high esteem by NYSDPL officials and players alike and is a very worthy recipient of this award.

Women’s and Girls’ Development
Dave Collingwood, Shotley Bridge Cricket Club 

Dave has consistently dedicated his time to growing and developing girls’ cricket at Shotley Bridge CC. He has developed a connected pathway from fundamental softball skills coaching and festival competitions to structured hardball junior league cricket with five girls now playing in county age group teams and others involved in Shotley’s ladies hardball team. Participation has grown significantly as a result of Dave’s inclusive, supportive approach with the boys claiming the girls are ‘taking over’.

All Stars Cricket Centre of the Year
Peter Ruddick, Whickham Cricket Club

In 2017 the club attracted 22 participants to its All Stars programme. This year Phil Mellons delivered Chance to Shine school programmes in two primary schools, inspiring pupils, and organised successful assembly/ meet and greet events in other schools, supported enthusiastically by Whickham members. As a consequence of this direct promotion and awareness created by the club’s social media platforms, Whickham eventually recorded the highest absolute increase in All Stars sign-ups in the DCB area with an astonishing 120 participants across two groups. They attracted a significant number of volunteers who trained as activators and went on to delivered a fun, professional first cricket experience for their participants.

Lifetime Achiever
Bernard Poole, Raby Castle Cricket Club

Bernard has performed every volunteer role from first team captain to chairman at Raby Castle over a period spanning an incredible 60 years. Although he stepped down from the club management committee last year, he is still involved – it’s in his blood. In his role as junior coordinator he has been responsible for developing dozens of young players with six of the current first team progressing from Bernard’s junior teams. He has had great success with funding partners receiving grants for junior cricket as well as pavilion and ground improvements. His enthusiasm is infectious with numerous family members involved in playing and undertaking volunteer roles and now his youngest grandchildren are Raby Castle All Stars Cricketers!

Young Volunteer
Joe Gibson, Shotley Bridge Cricket Club

Joe recently attained his Level 2 Coach Award after assisting with weekly junior coaching for three years. He is team manager for the club’s U15 squad. Joe is also jointly responsible for maintaining the club’s social media service, is fixture secretary and serves on the club’s main executive and junior committees. His breadth of involvement is truly exceptional for a young man. Joe has actively encouraged his peers to get involved, like him, with the club’s very successful All Stars Cricket programme with a whole army of volunteers supporting 81 participants. Joe is a fantastic young ambassador for the club.

Services to Groundmanship
Rod Berry, Durham City Cricket Club

This award recognises Rod’s dedication and skill as groundsman at Durham City for the last 20 years and at Bearpark prior to this. In winter Rod maintains equipment in all weathers and there are numerous examples of him going beyond the call of duty to help get the game on and this has earned him the respect and appreciation of everyone at the club. Although now retired, he still helps prepare the ground on Saturdays and his continued input is sincerely welcomed.

Contribution to Youth Participation
David Gibson and Michael McGhin, Seaham Park Cricket Club

David and Michael have had a huge impact on junior participation at Seaham Park CC. They promoted and delivered ECB’s new entry-level programme All Stars Cricket in 2017 attracting 52 youngsters. They succeeded in attracting five trained parent activators and continued to deliver a softball provision after the eight-week programme ended. The legacy of All Stars has seen the two volunteers start an U9s team and a girls’ group, which recently took part in their first festival, improved school links attracting new participants to age group teams. In 2018 All Stars numbers have grown significantly with 83 sign-ups to the current programme.

Officiating – Umpires & Scorers
Keith Sutherland

Keith has carried out the role of DCB ACO Secretary for the past 25 years. As an umpire he was appointed to the Minor Counties and County Second IX Panels and stood in the very first match at Emirates Riverside. After retiring from umpiring he trained as an instructor and became the County Education and Training Officer in 2007 and has gone on to tutor and mentor hundreds of colleagues to become better officials and, going forward, he is determined to attract younger umpires and scorers and encourage women and girls to take up officiating.

Services to Coaching
Ian McGrath, Tudhoe Cricket Club

Ian has been a volunteer coach at Tudhoe CC for the past 15 years. A qualified, experienced Level 2 coach, he is currently the club’s head coach and junior secretary. Ian’s energy and his ability to engage with and support fellow coaches and young players has taken the junior set-up from a handful of children related to senior players to a structured pathway offering play and practice opportunities to the full range of age groups, including a strong development squad, a girls’ group and 33 All Stars. Ian is naturally very modest, however, his friends at Tudhoe CC have ensured that his achievements are deservedly recognised through this award.

NatWest CricketForce
Paula Swindale and Peter Wright, Sedgefield Cricket Club

Sedgefield recently embarked on a ground improvement and maintenance plan underpinning the growth and longevity of the facility. Paula and Peter have been the driving force behind this and the club’s successful NWCF event. Paula has secured £13,500 in grants to go with a £3,000 ECB small grant. Peter then planned and helped deliver the work, and encouraged more than 30 volunteers to get involved preparing the ground, practice and changing rooms and key projects completed include: scorebox fully refurbished, club exterior repaired and rendered, ladies and gents toilets and change rooms upgraded and repaired, and doors refitted. Peter will begin work to upgrade/ extend the bar to increase the service area in the autumn.

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