Welsh Cricket's Grassroots Awards Winners September 2021

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In 2021 we recognise the outstanding efforts of our clubs' volunteers through a new series of awards. The Wales' winners of each category are the following.

  • Connecting Communities: Ynystawe CC
  • Growing the Game: David Kirtley (Cardiff CC)
  • Inspired to Play: Shana Thomas (Ynystawe CC)
  • Rising Star: Sam Bright and Tom O'Melia (Colwyn Bay CC)
  • Game Changer: Lara Jones (Alberbury CC)
  • Cricket Innovators: Jack Mayers (Panteg CC)
  • Lifetime Achiever: Lyn Hall (Blackwood Town CC)
  • Unsung Hero: Gary Phillips (Ammanford CC)

 Unsung hero: Gary Phillips, Ammanford Cricket Club

  • Affectionately known as ‘Gary Scorer’, or ‘The G’, Gary has been the 1st XI scorer at Ammanford CC for 30 seasons. Prior to this he scored for the 2nds for 6 seasons, starting as a 25-year-old, when he realised, he could give greater input to the Club off the field than on.  During this period, he barely missed a match – league, cup and mid-week fixtures.  He was always at the Club first on match days and took on the role of meet and greet for umpires and opposition captains and scorers.
  • overseen the numerous administrative tasks and functions, and ensured we were informed and compliant with cricket, licensing, health & safety, human resources, and various other critical matters.
  • Amongst other roles he was the membership Secretary, COVID officer, fund raiser and he was instrumental in the refurbishment of the changing rooms, foyer, bar and ladies toilets, club finances.
  • Gary was a scorer of the old school. His scorebooks were a work of art.  He realised and gradually embraced the benefits of electronic / online scoring and bought a tablet to enable him to score real time alongside younger and more IT aware scorers.
  • Gary showed incredible dedication to the Club.  The Club were his extended family, and he was the face of Ammanford Cricket, both within and outside the Club. 
  • Gary was very ill. He had for the last 2 years been battling disease.  He had an operation, and more recently had started a course of therapy, which was never completed.
  • In spite of his illness, he had for the last 2 years, if that was possible, done even more for the Club. Due to illness or treatment, he did have to miss scoring a couple of times, and he was absent from the tuckshop very occasionally, but as soon as he felt better, he’d be back in the fold.
  • Sadly, Gary died this summer and so the award is made posthumously. ‘The G’ had a tremendous send off at his beloved park on Thursday 15th The tributes were numerous.

Nominations

  • Angharad Sian Rees – Kidwelly CC & SWCA Management Committee  
  • Hugh Williams at Cowbridge Cricket Club  
  • JANE ROBERTS – BRYMBO CC
  • Joe Atkinson Monmouth CC 
  • Lindsey Pepper JOE LAMBE – LLANDUDNO CC
  • HYWEL JOHN – PENTYRCH CC
  • TIM FLACK – CHIRK CRICKET CLUB
  • JOHN PUGH – PANTEG CC
  • GARY PHILLIPS – AMMANFORD CC
  • CARWYN JONES – LLANWRDA CC
  • DUDLEY HARE – CONWY CC
  • MIKE DEVOY – GLANGRWYNEY CC

 

Growing the Game – David Kirtley Cardiff CC

David has worked tirelessly to develop the junior section of Cardiff CC and is constantly looking for ways to improve participation at the club at every level. From introducing All Stars in 2017, where approximately 50 children began their cricket journey, to the most recent season, 2021, where he managed, planned and delivered All Stars and Dynamos sessions for over 300 children - he has been instrumental in ensuring a new generation of cricket families, in and around the Cardiff area, have been introduced to the game at a grass roots level. 

In total, 622 children have had their first taste of cricket through All Stars and Dynamos since 2017 at Cardiff CC. Through David’s hard work in developing All Stars and Dynamos – Cardiff CC is now the largest All Stars and Dynamos centre in the UK. 

As well as leading the All Stars and Dynamos sessions, David has developed a girl only Dynamos group, which has led to pre-season festivals, in conjunction with Pentyrch CC. The feedback and enthusiasm of the girls has been infectious, and the club now has 81 girls as registered members through All Stars, Dynamos and the junior channels.

David has led numerous coaching sessions for volunteers so that All Stars and Dynamos sessions can be delivered safely and successfully. The club now has approximately 50 volunteer coaches who are constantly supported and guided by the club. The recruitment of these volunteers meant that David was able to deliver 3 separate All Stars sessions as well as 3 separate Dynamos sessions, each week, to cater for the hundreds of children wanting to play. 

David constantly leads by example, ensuring that every session is run with passion, fun and energy. He puts 100% effort into everything he does for the club and has inspired so many young children to actively participate in the sport.   

 

Cricket Innovator Panteg CC Jack Mayers

Jack has been the driving force behind Panteg CC’s improved administration during the last year. He has digitised all their documents, using a shared drive that can be accessed by all committee members. He takes responsibility for capturing and sharing meeting minutes, helps to prioritise them and turns them into actions. He has helped to implement new policies such as a selection policy and social media policy, which support our aim to improve the club’s decision-making transparency.

Jack was the brains behind the club playing survey, quizzes, digital marketing to promote our activities, encouraging us to experiment with social media and videos alongside traditional email.

Jack was a major supporter of the club’s move to contactless payments in 2021, defibrillator, and an ambition to bring live streaming technology.  He also created step by step guides on how to use play cricket so that players have been able to set their availability in advance, as well as setting up a Covid-compliant net booking system. He is responsible for creating the surveys to gather the opinions of members, and even produced a slide deck to provide feedback to the players on how they had voted as a collective and how the committee interpreted the results.

Finally, Jack has taken the responsibility of ensuring that the club’s Safe Hands rating has been as high as it can be, reminding all coaches and officials to complete their documentation.

 

Game Changer Lara Jones, of Alberbury Cricket Club

 Lara Jones, of Alberbury Cricket Club has made a big difference to the club by: -

  • Acted as the club’s Covid Officer, developed the clubs Covid plan and ensured the club follows the Welsh Covid guidance to the letter.
  • Taken over the social media side of the club and maintained an active Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram presence.
  • Organised sponsorship of the club for the first time ever – we now have 11 advertising hoardings around the boundary and numerous match sponsors, which has raised an additional £2000+ for the club.
  • Acted as the lead for the junior cricket sections and All Stars with support of other coaches. Lara has expanded the junior section this year, and offered league cricket to under 11’s, under 13’s and under 15’s for the first time in a few years by working with Montgomery C.C. who also had insufficient players in each age group to offer 11 a side cricket.
  • Organised a free week-long cricket school for over 35 local children
  • Played for the club First XI every week and captained the team once (the first time a lady has captained a team in Division 1 of the Shropshire League.)

 

Lifetime Achiever:  Lyn Hall – Blackwood Town CC

Lyn has been an active member of Blackwood Town Cricket Club for well over 50 years. Lyn represented the club on the field with distinction, playing for all senior teams, with many years as 1st team captain, including several seasons winning the club’s player of the year award. He has previously coached junior teams for a number of years. A significant number of current 1st XI players would have started their cricket careers under the guidance of Lyn.   He has been the head groundsman for over 45 years, until stepping down in 2020. Lyn would spend several days a week on the ground during the season, ensuring it was ready to play, for all teams. Although no longer in charge, he continues to help out with the ground and his expertise has been gratefully appreciated. He is also the current cricket section treasurer and also doubles up by acting as treasurer for the club itself.  He was an extremely well-respected league umpire, reaching ‘D’ level status and his CV includes regular representative matches at county 2nd XI standard and his career highlight, a women’s international between England and Pakistan played at Bath in 2016. 

He has also been a committee member of the South East Wales Cricket League (SEWCL), and was also their representative on the South Wales Premier League meetings and was also a member of the South East Wales Association of Cricket Officials (SEWACO) until recently stepping down

From the club “It would be difficult to image how different the club would look today if it were not down to people like Lyn and the dedication he has shown. We are proud to already have Lyn as a life member of Blackwood Town Cricket Club and could not think of a better nomination for Lifetime Achiever at the Cricket Wales Reward and Recognition event.”  

Lifetime Achiever Nominations

  • ROB WALL – BUILTH WELLS CC
  • DUDLEY HARE – CONWY CC
  • MORLEY HOWELL – GOWERTON CC
  • TONY ROBERTS – CRUMLIN CC
  • RAY COX – PORT TALBOT TOWN CC
  • DAVE LOOSMORE – HAVERFORDWEST CC
  • ERIC REARDON – BLACKWOOD TOWN CC

 

Inspired to Play: Shana Thomas Ynystawe

  • Shana Thomas at Ynystawe CC has inspired Women’s cricket at Ynystawe CC to be one of the leading Clubs in the region. She has driven women to be the best they can be with ‘enjoyment’ being central to every game of cricket they play. Ynystawe CC now see over 25 ladies enjoying cricket and each others company 12 months of the year – which includes playing Netball. The  Allsorts section supports all women and girls and is well known around the community in supporting other clubs and their festivals.
  • Shana has been instrumental in the Allstars / Dynamo’s programme. From a standing start inspired volunteers to support 81 allstars and 34 Dynamo’s. First to put her hand up to deliver Activator programme across South Wales for benefit of all clubs.
  • Shana is central to the launch of Sporting Memories at the club aimed at tackling loneliness for over 55 in the community.

 

Rising Star: Sam Bright and Tom O'Melia (Colwyn Bay CC)

Some of the work that Sam and Tom do are:-

  • Help run the Dynamo sessions every week and take control of their own group when the main coach is absent under supervision.
  • Always available to help the juniors, umpires junior matches and can be depended upon to enthuse the younger players and keep all involved.
  • Without their help the Dynamos and junior section would not run effectively, and many youngsters would miss out on the guidance and leadership offered by more senior junior members helping and advising them.
  • They have encouraged other older juniors to help out at the All stars and dynamo sessions, their enthusiasm and fun has also attracted brothers/sisters of players to join the junior section.
  • Their enthusiasm is infectious and this attracts relatives of players to also join in, they have also encouraged our Dynamos to join the club teams. Even dads and mums have been encouraged by the boys enthusiasm and love for the game to join the ladies and mens teams
  • Both boys play senior cricket, U19 and representative cricket. Despite their huge commitment to their own games they are always willing to give any spare time they have to help the juniors. Their progress in their own cricket is an inspiration to our young players and they are like superstars at the club. The energy and enthusiasm shown by the boys is infectious and they eat sleep and breathe cricket. When not playing, coaching or umpiring they are in the nets preparing for their own games. Nothing is ever too much and they do everything with a smile.

Connecting Communities: Ynystawe CC

Ynystawe Cricket Club has played a huge part in establishing itself as a key part of its Community and beyond. Whether it be by its close links with several nearby schools , setting up the only local Asian team in the area , creating a first Women only Sports team , securing a Hub for the disabled , offering the Sports Hall to all local clubs ( free for schools) , having junior mixed cricket for ages ranging from 5 to 15 , increasing adult cricket opportunities by setting up a 4ths team, taking over the running of the Sports fields at Ynystawe Park to safeguard future of community sport , establishing a open door for volunteers to work within the club , running charity initiatives i.e. NHS / MIND, setting up a Netball team or ongoing discussions to enter indoor short mat bowls league. All stars has helped attract new parents and at least 50 new club members have joined Ynystawe CC simply because of these activities.

Ynystawe Cricket Club is building a longstanding reputation for being the ‘go to’ place for all its Community activities. The playing of cricket brings people together 7 days a week just to socialise and mix. And finally the club has been working with the Ospreys to bring the power of ‘Sporting Memories’ to over 55s in the Community, showing the power of Sport and cricket to naturally bring people together.

 

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