Seven of the Gloucestershire’s unsung cricketing heroes will be honoured at Lord’s after earning NatWest OSCA nominations.
The volunteers – who come from a range of clubs, leagues and constituent bodies – have been recognised for the tireless dedication to the grass roots game with a nomination for one of the Outstanding Services to Cricket Awards.
They were chosen following by a Gloucestershire Cricket Board judging panel following a record number of nominations.
All seven winners have been invited to the awards ceremony at Lord’s on October 9. They will also be guests of honour at a Gloucestershire Cricket home match in 2018.
The nominees are Sarah Probert, Bristol CC (Heartbeat of the Club), Richard Deane Chipping Sodbury CC (Get the Game On), Chris Strong, BDCA (Leagues), John Gurney, Dymock CC (Lifetime Achiever), Brian Woodcock, Cirencester (CricketForce), Peter Sawyer, GACUS (umpires and scorers), Stefan Hunt, Cheltenham (Young Volunteer).
Hunt from Cheltenham CC, has also been shortlisted in the top three for the national award, with the winner due to be announced during the event at Lord’s.
Hunt, who is 25, uses his level two coaching qualification to coach the club’s under-13s, is a man of many roles at his club.
He also coaches the under 9s and in 2017 took on the role of becoming chel- tenham’s lead activator for the ECB’s All Stars initiative.
Hunt ensured that sessions were well organised without ever losing the sense of fun and enjoyment so vital in inspiring the next generation of young players.
He also gives up days of his annual leave to coach on the club’s annual youth coaching camp.
In addition to his coaching roles Stef has run fundraising events like 2016’s club Race Night and – when there were a lack of other candidates – he stepped up to captain the third team for a number of seasons, despite the fact that he could have played in the 2nd XI.
Nominating him, Cheltenham CC youth coordinator John Cropper said: “Whether it is NatWest CricketForce, the club’s annual beer festival or a junior training night you can guarantee that Stef will be there, giving his time and energy to the club – always with a smile on his face.”
Steve Silk, GCB chief executive, said: “The NatWest OSCAs are a wonderful way to celebrate the unsung heroes whose work often goes unnoticed but, without whom, the grass roots game simply would not survive.
“It was fantastic to have so many entries this year, highlighting the large number of deserving people we have in Gloucestershire that go the extra mile for their club, league, board or organization.
Every nomination we received was hugely deserving of recognition but our seven winners stood out to our judging panel.
“We hope they have day to remember at Lord’s and look forward to welcoming them as our guests to our own Gloucestershire celebration event next year.”