REMARKABLE VOLUNTARY COMMITMENT RECOGNISED AT 2018 CRICKET WALES OSCAs (OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO CRICKET AWARDS)
On Tuesday 21st August Cricket Wales once again recognised the remarkable voluntary commitment to cricket in Wales, through the staging of its annual OSCAs during the Glamorgan v Durham County Championship game. OSCAs were awarded to:
| Lifetime Achiever
||Robin Varley (Aberystwyth Cricket Club)
| Heartbeat of the Club
||Ben Roberts (Pontarddulais Cricket Club)
| Young Volunteer
||Lucy King (Ebbw Vale Cricket Club)
| Natwest Cricketforce
||George Groves (Northop Hall Cricket Club)
||Ian Baber (South Wales Premier League and Panteg Cricket Club)
||John Jones (Pontarddulais Cricket Club)
Robin Varley (Lifetime Achiever) is regarded as ‘Mr Cricket’ within Aberystwyth and far wider afield! Locally he contributes enormously to Aberystwyth CC, working on the ground, initiating Natwest Cricket-force, coaching juniors, umpiring and undertaking the many administrative tasks involved in running a modern-day club. Further afield Robin has been a local league official, Treasurer of the Mid Wales Junior Region, Secretary of the former Welsh Cricket Association and voluntary Administrative Officer for Cricket Wales. Robin is currently Chair of Cricket Wales North.
Ben Roberts (Heartbeat of the Club) is currently General Secretary, Fixture Secretary, Membership Secretary, Junior Co-ordinator and Assistant Welfare Officer at Pontarddulais CC. In addition he raises local sponsorship and over the past two years has co-ordinated All Stars Cricket which in 2018 had 60 participants. Ben also co-ordinates activities on match-days and is currently revising the club constitution as part of ECB Clubmark Accreditation. When not volunteering for the Club, Ben sits on the South Wales Junior League and the West Wales Cricket Association to support the wider development of junior and senior cricket within his area.
Lucy King (Young Volunteer) is a fundamental driving force behind Ebbw Vale CC. Lucy joined the club at the age of ten following a Chance to Shine schools Kwik Cricket session led by former England captain Charlotte Edwards! Lucy now plays senior club cricket, is an All Stars Activator, an active ECB Level 2 coach within the club’s junior section, helps on the ground and with the running of the local indoor centre. She is also part of the Wales Women’s Development Squad. To quote Club Secretary Nick Pepper ‘Lucy is a shining example to any young person with regard to enthusiasm, loyalty, and work ethic………I know if we need Lucy to help out the answer will always be yes………if we had more Lucy Kings the running of the club would be a doddle’
George Groves (Natwest Cricket-Force) has been an active member of Northop Hall CC for fifty years, working tirelessly on the ground and leading the club’s annual Natwest Cricket-Force operation. Rumour has it that he is on first name terms with the local branch of Jewsons! At 84 years of age George is at the club every day tending to the ground, with the square having developed the finest of reputations both locally and further afield
Ian Baber (Leagues) has been fundamental in driving up the standards of club cricket grounds within the former Glamorgan and Monmouthshire League and currently the South Wales Premier League. Ian has been instrumental in the development and implementation of ground criteria within each league which at times has been challenging but is now accepted as standard good practice. In addition Ian has been involved in Panteg CC since 1964 and has played the roles of scorer, playing captain, match secretary, fixture secretary, tour organiser and current head groundsman. Ian is also a former Treasurer of the Three Counties League and Monmouthshire Umpires Association.
John Jones (Officials) scored his first game for Pontarddulais CC in 1959 and has been the club’s first eleven scorer since 1965! This is a role he still plays to this day – 54 consecutive seasons! John has also scored for Wales Minor Counties since 1994, for Glamorgan 2nds and for the MCC. Despite his years of service John continues to embrace change and in recent seasons has been at the forefront of promoting digital scoring to enable everyone to stay in touch with events at his games!
Cricket Wales Board Director Jeff Bird presented the OSCAs to everyone stating that ‘Volunteers continue to be the bed-rock of cricket clubs throughout Wales and today we are able to honour and recognise six outstanding individuals from all corners of Wales’
The Cricket Wales OSCA winners will be invited to Lord’s in October for the ECB OSCAs at which they will meet their counterparts from the English County Boards.