NatWest OSCA’s Awards Event
On Friday 26th April during the Royal London One Day Cup game between The Northants Steelbacks and Worcestershire Rapids the Outstanding Service to Cricket awards took place. The NatWest OSCAs aim to reward the contribution volunteers make to the game. Nominations were received for volunteers from the traditional cricketing environments (clubs, leagues, boards), and in addition from emerging environments such as Higher and Further Education, Community Programmes, Workplaces and Recreational Park Leagues.
The presentations were hosted by Clubs and Community Manager Patricia Hankins and the awards were presented on the pitch during the interval by Gavin Warren the Club Chairman. Saif Zaib, Charlie Thurston and Number One Test All Rounder and West Indies Captain Jason Holder joined Gavin on the pitch to congratulate the winners.
The first award to be presented was for Young Volunteer of the Year, which went to George Barry of Overstone Park Cricket Club. George is always willing to help out at the club; attending Cricketforce weekends, end of season clear ups, helping out at junior training nights and is captain of the clubs 4th XI.
The second award is for the All Stars Activator of the year; an award that has been introduced this year and the first winner was Gareth Goddard of Cogenhoe Cricket Club. Gareth’s genuine enthusiasm for All Stars cricket can be seen by all, he has run a successful programme at the club for 2 years and is looking forward to inspiring the next generation of young cricketers in year 3.
The next award which is the Officials award; this was won by Nathan Armstrong of Geddington Cricket Club. Nathan devotes a huge amount of his time scoring for a number of Geddington sides and puts together reports and the end of season booklets. He always has a smile on his face and thoroughly enjoys helping other scorers.
The Coach of the Year award was the next to be presented which went to Northampton Saints Cricket Club and Northants Player Pathway coach Nick Baker. Nick has been instrumental in developing the junior section at Saints Cricket Club, he has run a Northampton District side for 3 years providing excellent coaching support and development opportunities for young players. He has taken on the role as lead coach for the Northants U13 girls for the 2019 season.
Matt Earl was the winner of the Leagues award for all of his hard work setting up and running a very successful U9s programme as part of the Corby and District Wilson Browne Youth Cricket League. Matt has grown the offer for U9 players in the District over the last few years and with the introduction of All Stars Cricket the participation in these festivals will continue to grow.
The winner of the Young Coach of the year was Summer Keightley who has been working with the U15 and U17 girls throughout the winter as well as working at Northampton High school on behalf of Northants Cricket to help grow the game with girls at the school and the local community. As a member of the Northants women’s 1st team squad, she also supports the development of the girls holistically by helping them transition in to the squad where appropriate.
The Heartbeat of the Club award was won by Richard Darby of Evenley Cricket Club, he takes up many roles at the club including player, captain, committee member, All Stars activator, coach and club social event organiser. He is the heartbeat of the club and it would simply not function with the same level of success without him.
The penultimate award, which is the Coaches award for Outstanding Contribution, goes to Thrapston Town Cricket Clubs Joanne Thomas. Joanne has given her time coaching at the club for 11 years, working with the U7s, giving them a great first experience of cricket. When she first took on the role, she had never played cricket herself but decided to do her Level 1 and Level 2 coaching badges to help her with the role. She has developed as a coach and player since and puts in hours of hard work.
The final award is for the Lifetime Achiever, this goes to Paul Kerfoot of Weldon Cricket Club. Paul started playing for the club back in 1960 and within 4 years of joining the club he went on to the club’s management committee. He has taken on many roles over the years including treasurer, secretary, captain, coach and chairman. He retired from the management committee at the end of the 2018 season after 54 years which is a tremendous accolade. He has been instrumental in the Clubs development and this award is thoroughly deserved for the years of hard work he has put in.
A massive congratulations to the 9 winners who will go forward to the National Awards, and also well done to all of those volunteers that were nominated for these awards but were unsuccessful on this occasion. We hope that all of the winners and their guest enjoyed the day, unfortunately it was not the result the Northants players wanted but hopefully it was a good day nevertheless.