THE Somerset Cricket Foundation recently hosted the 2023 Collective Cricket Awards in the County Room at the Coopers Associates County Ground in Taunton, writes Richard Walsh. 

Jon Bendle, the Managing Director of the SCF  welcomed the 180 volunteers that work tirelessly across the club network and spoke about the impact that volunteers have on the grass roots of the sport and the profound impact their contribution has on the work of the Foundation,

Special guests at the event were  former Somerset CCC players Max Waller and James Hildreth and Western Storm player Nat Wraith .

During the course of the evening Max and Nat both took part in a Q&A  session with Spencer Bishop who compered the evening, to talk all things coaching and the impact of volunteers on the Women’s game.

At the centre of the evening was the sheer devotion and passion that the volunteers share for enriching the experience of cricket for many across the region. 

On the night, guests heard from Kevin Russell, who won the lifetime achievement award for Wells  Horrington CC, having played over 1000 games for the club, dedicating his 40 year cricket career to fundraising for his club and being instrumental in saving their Chapel Piece ground just one of his many achievements.

Jon Bendle said: “We were delighted to be able to thank a fantastic group of volunteers who go and above and beyond throughout the year to better others cricketing experience and make cricket a game for all. We would like to thank all of our volunteers across our network, who give up their time to clubs and leagues, because without them, cricket simply wouldn’t exist at such a thriving level in Somerset as it currently does.”

Congratulations to all those who were nominated for an award and to all the winners below: 

  • Young Coach of the Year- Ollie Morris from Winscombe CC
  • Coach of the Year- Dan Pritchard from Chard CC
  • Outstanding Contribution to Cricket- Lorraine Warren from Wombats/ Taunton CC
  • Outstanding Contribution to Coach Development -Rachel Richards from Wells CC
  • The Connecting Communities Award- North Petherton CC
  • The Tackling Climate Change Award - Shapwick and Polden CC
  • Growing the Game Award- Charlie Hartley-Hodge , Backwell Flax Bourton CC
  • Rising Star Award- Alice Allen , Ilton CC.
  • Game Changer Award- Scarlett Hale, Mendip Gators Super 1 Hub
  • Inspired to play Award - Gareth Griffiths, Old Bristolians/Westbury CC
  • Safe Hands Award- Amanda Counsell, Huntspill and District CC, TDYCL and Somerset Cricket League
  • Volunteer Grounds Management Team of the Year-Mark Fitzgibbon, Backwell Flax Bourton CC
  • Cricket Innovator Award- Ollie Philips, Long Sutton CC
  • Unsung Hero Award- Katie Borton, Hinton Charterhouse CC
  • Lifetime Achiever Award- Kevin Russell , Wells and Horrington CC.