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OSCAs Winners 2017

Durham Cricket Board, in cooperation with Natwest Bank, awarded the county’s most devoted cricket volunteers at this year’s Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs).

The award winners

This year’s awards included the newly-launched Women & Girls category, which was independently included by Durham Cricket Board to reflect the county’s focus on the female game.

The annual OSCAs is one of the showpiece events in the cricket calendar, recognising the input of club volunteers towards cricket, acknowledging their contributions and role in shaping the game within the county.

The award winners in full:

Heartbeat of the Club
John Smithson, Eppleton CC

John has been the driving force behind Eppleton CC’s progress for more than 10 years. Over this period John’s workload and commitment has been truly exceptional, having carried out the roles of treasurer, third team captain, secretary, fixture secretary and first team scorer. Remarkably, John also holds the position of director of cricket and is responsible for the development of all junior and senior teams. His impact in this role has seen the club establish itself in the North East Premier League after securing promotion in 2015. John is most definitely the heartbeat of Eppleton CC.

Get the Game On
Iain Bestford, Sacriston CC

As a player, Iain has represented all Sacriston’s junior and senior teams and as director of cricket he is responsible for the growth and development of all teams and participation at the club. As fixture secretary, Iain will coordinate almost 200 fixtures this season, including hosting one of Durham Cricket Board’s successful women and girls festivals. He dedicates a lot of time, ahead of and on match day, liaising with groundstaff to ensure the maximum number of play and practice opportunities are available. A qualified coach and junior team manager, Iain attends all junior practices and supports Chance to Shine school to club transition sessions. His energy and drive continues to have a significant impact on player recruitment and retention.

Women & Girls
Sue Brown, Willington CC

Sue was one of the founder members of the Willington CC Ladies Section in 2005 and still plays today. She is a qualified ECB Coach Support Worker and attended a recent ECB Women-Only Level 2 Coaching Course. Sue is a cricket activator for the club’s All Stars Cricket programme where she supports girls aged 5 to 8 in their first cricket experience. She has been a lead coach for the girl’s section for the past two and a half years and has developed and supported the team at softball festivals. Sue has recently worked in close partnership with Durham Cricket Board’s development team who have organised and delivered very successful ladies days at local clubs over the course of this summer.

Lifetime Achiever
David Scrafton, Simonside CC

David has served Simonside CC for an amazing 52 years. He has held a variety of positions including treasurer, secretary and chairman. He is the club’s current president and has been groundsman for almost 20 years. His passion for the club is infectious and a positive influence on many members, who he encourages to help maintain the ground.

David’s fundraising is legendary, for example, he organised a successful sportsman’s dinner for 21 consecutive years ensuring the financial stability of the club. David’s tireless efforts have ensured the sustainability of the club.

NatWest CricketForce
Alan Winn, Sacriston CC

Sacriston CC have a long track record of successful NWCF events. In 2009, when they featured as an ECB national showcase club, and ever since Alan has been at the forefront of all their CF projects.  A master joiner, he has used his skills to fit out a new changing block, construct a new scorebox area, refurbish the clubhouse, including new floors, new bar, kitchen wash room and disabled facilities. Currently, ‘Matty’ is a key member of a team planning an ambitious clubhouse extension. Alan’s contribution to major civil projects has literally saved the club tens of thousands of ponds and evidence of his work can be seen across the whole facility.

Officiating – Umpires & Scorers
Ray Burn

Ray has provided over ten years distinguished service to umpiring. Having joined the panel of Durham Senior League umpires in 2008, Ray’s skills were recognised when he was invited onto the ‘D’ List of umpires serving the Minor Counties for several years. A skilled assessor/ observer, his professional approach has provided support to numerous aspiring umpires. With 10 years as treasurer of DCBACO until stepping down earlier this year, Ray is held in high esteem by all association members and fully deserves his recognition.

Young Volunteer
Ben Perry, Ryton CC

Ben started assisting coaches at Ryton aged 14 years. Now 18, he is a very positive role model for young players and volunteers. Ben is recognised as an important member of the coaching team with his school engagement work being key to Ryton’s All Stars Cricket initiative, which has attracted 35 children. Ben captains the club’s U18 team, supports junior team managers on match days and is an active member of the Junior Management Committee.

Services to Groundsmanship
Ian Dent, Raby Castle CC

Ian has maintained the ground at Raby Castle CC for 20 years and his dedication and skill has made a significant difference to the quality of the playing surfaces at the club. This award is also to recognise Ian’s support of fellow groundsmen across the region, running several

workshops and helping others with important end of season renovation work at a staggering 13 local clubs over the last 10 years.

Services to Youth Cricket
Anthony Potts, Murton CC

Anthony has been involved with all aspects of junior cricket at Murton CC for the past five years.  A qualified Level 2 Coach, his roles include child welfare officer, junior coordinator, coach and team manager. Anthony’s achievements include improved club communications promoting junior activities using social media platforms, sourcing grant funding, organising fundraising, social and fun events for juniors, setting up and managing a successful girls softball festival team and promoting ECB’s new entry-level programme All Stars Cricket, attracting 29 participants. Anthony’s energy has seen hardball participation rise from 35 to a healthy 60 players.

Services to Coaching
Mark Appleton, South Shields CC

Mark has been involved as a volunteer coach at South Shields CC for over 12 years. He has worked with all age groups, benefiting countless junior players, and his most recent success being the launch of a girls section, providing regular coaching and festival competition and taster cricket for mums.  Mark is also a highly valued member of the coaching team supporting the Durham Cricket Board Player Pathway and a member of the NEPL Management Committee.

Leagues
Cliff Jones, Durham Cricket League

Cliff served his beloved Durham Coast League for more than 30 years, initially as a committee member and then as secretary / treasurer. He worked under several chairmen using his skills as a magistrate to adopt a common sense approach to all things cricket. In recent years Cliff has been a key contributor to the formation of the new Durham Cricket League in 2013. He also works at national level as treasurer for the League Cricket Conference and has held this position for the past 18 years. Cliff has dedicated a huge time commitment to grassroots cricket and totally deserves his recognition with this award.

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