The exceptional work of volunteers across Devon's cricket clubs was celebrated in an early morning awards ceremony on Sunday at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
The Cricket Collective Awards, previously known as the Grassroots Cricket Awards, are a celebration of the exceptional contribution clubs and volunteers make across grassroots cricket throughout the county. The county winners are then put forward for the chance to have their contributions recognised nationally by the ECB.
This year’s Devon award winners are:
- Cricket Innovator: Steve Triner (Ottery St Mary CC)
- Unsung Hero: Dawn Green (Ipplepen CC)
- Volunteer Grounds Management Team of the Year: Cornwood CC (Brad Nicholls, Dave Matthews, Jon Nicholls, Richard Friend, Dave Bailey, Charlie Munford and Kevin Mills)
- Rising Star: Kate Graves (Ivybridge CC)
- Game Changer: Daniel Pugsley (Heathcoat CC)
- SafeHands Award: Anne Stone (Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho! CC)
- Connecting Communities: Exwick CC
- Inspired to Play: Nathan Bright (Whimple CC)
- Growing the Game: Caroline Wilson (Filleigh CC)
- Lifetime Achiever: Mike Foan (Bradninch CC and Cheriton Fitzpaine CC)
All nominees were invited to a breakfast awards ceremony at the Cooper Associates County Ground on Sunday, August 20, with attendees also invited to watch Somerset CCC's Metro Bank One Day Cup fixture against Glamorgan CCC.
Cricket Innovator - Steve Triner
Steve has implemented Spond as a tool for member management and recently helped install live match streaming at the club as well as securing sponsorship to cover the capital costs. All making for a better experience for individuals at the club – well done Steve!
“As a volunteer, I’m still able to contribute to the club’s performance and profile by bringing technology and management skills to the club," says Steve.
"Although I’m no longer a regular player on the field, I am still part of the family and community that’s associated with the club. Being involved and a useful part of the overall effort brings a great deal of personal satisfaction.”
Ash Harvey (Ipplepen CC) - Led the building project to improve facilities for all at the club.
Unsung Hero - Dawn Green
Dawn goes above and beyond at the club – organising fixtures, coaching, running the bar/BBQ, cleaning the clubhouse, managing communications and supporting new members – the list is endless. Amazing work Dawn!
"The pure joy and excitement you see on the faces of our Juniors as they arrive for their Friday night sessions at Ipplepen makes my heart smile," says Dawn. "To be able to help offer cricket to as many young people and adults as we can means we are futureproofing our club, engaging with our local community and making cricket available for generations to come.
"It really is a huge team effort at our club, I am blessed to work alongside a dedicated crew who all take a hand in the share of the work needed to run a thriving club."
Helen Nicholls (Cornwood CC) - The heart of the successful hospitality and catering team at the club.
Volunteer Grounds Management Team of the Year - Cornwood CC
The team at Cornwood CC have taken the quality of the ground to new levels and continues to strive to improve the playing facilities for all at the club.
Always open to new volunteers, and providing the ground for representative and development cricket, the team are worthy of this recognition.
"Cornwood Cricket Club is very much part of my DNA," says Brad Nicholls. "Over the last 20 years, I have practically grown up here and the club has had a profound and long-lasting impact on making me the person I am today. This wonderful club has helped prepare and mould me for my future, and it only seems right that I return the favour.
"During this time I have watched my parents and grandparents dedicate huge parts of their lives to this club, making life-long friendships along the way. I am very proud to be the third generation to continue to give back to this fantastic club, which has already given so much to us.”
Ipplepen CC (Alan, Keith and David) - The grounds team behind cricket for all at the club.
Yelverton Bohemians CC (Gerry Keen) - Total dedication to maintaining the ground.
Rising Star - Kate Graves
Kate has made outstanding contributions to the girls' softball section this year – umpiring, coaching, scoring and generally supporting. Her commitment to the club is unrivalled and her open, friendly and supportive manner makes her a real asset to the club.
Isaac May (Thorverton CC) - Supporting junior training and scoring for the 1st XI.
Coralie Toomey (Ipplepen CC) - Exemplary role model and assistant activator.
Game Changer - Daniel Pugsley
Daniel started as a Dynamos activator and has now taken on the Under 12s team, planning Friday night sessions and communicating with other coaches to deliver meaningful and productive sessions.
He is a real game changer for Heathcoat CC and long may it continue – well done Daniel!
"I have enjoyed volunteering in cricket as it has allowed me to give back to my club and offer young cricketers the same opportunities that I was offered in junior cricket," says Daniel.
Imogen Daldorph (Thorverton CC) - Enthusiasm and dedication to supporting All Stars and Dynamos.
Jess Rose (Hatherleigh CC) - All Stars Activator, Storm Champion and all-round role model.
SafeHands Award - Anne Stone
Anne joined the club around seven years ago and threw herself into club activities, particularly around the junior section.
She has been a safeguarding officer for numerous years and an ever-present at junior sessions. She also saw the club through two Clubmark accreditations!
Now she has taken on the role of junior coordinator with just as much enthusiasm. Well done Anne!
Ann says: "A parent once told me a few years ago now how their child didn't want to live anymore. The child found cricket at our club and having my support to talk to and encourage, I know I helped, and the child is now thriving. This for me is priceless.
"I'll never stop helping those in need. I know all my junior players can enjoy their cricket in a safe & secure environment. Without nurturing the junior section would mean no senior teams later on!"
Demelza Knight (Exeter CC) - Willing volunteer and proactive Safeguarding Officer.
Dan Marks (Holsworthy CC) - Vital in the growth of junior cricket at the club.
Connecting Communities - Exwick CC
Both Simon and Kate helped out at Devon Cricket's winter sessions for individuals seeking asylum in Exeter. The welcoming environment they created led to many joining the club and they now play a vital role not just on matchdays but also around the club.
The club also supported a celebratory event on World Refugee Day and have undoubtedly played a part in helping these individuals in need settle in Exeter. Well done Exwick CC!
“I volunteer with the cricket club because I am passionate about the club being a central part of the Exwick community," says Kate. "Whether that’s with the women’s team, the All Stars and Dynamos or working with this group of refugees and last year with the Ukrainian refugees.
"I have seen a real benefit of this work this year in bringing people together through cricket, developing trust and creating bonds, breaking down barriers of difference, developing diversity and seeing the development of these young men."
Heathcoat CC (Pete Guest and team) - Creating a new initiative ‘All Stars 4 All’ working with local businesses and schools to fund free All Stars places – removing the financial barrier for children to attend their programme.
Inspired to Play - Nathan Bright
Nathan has single-handedly set up regular coaching sessions for Over 15 cricketers with a disability at Whimple CC – the only club-led disability programme in the county! Congratulations Nathan!
Jack Greening (Holsworthy CC) - Developing and nurturing the women's and junior sections at the club.
Keeley Wells (Thorverton CC) - Establishing a successful women's section at the club.
Growing the Game - Caroline Wilson
Over the last five years, Caroline has revitalised the junior section at Filleigh CC with a can-do attitude, creating a positive, welcoming environment.
She has also looked to support the junior league and other local clubs to help strengthen cricket in North Devon.
"I love getting stuck in as a cricket volunteer," says Caroline. "There is always so much to do but the reward of making cricket happen for new and existing players is unbeatable."
Sara Pratt (Ipplepen CC) - Commitment to providing cricket for U10s at the club.
Lifetime Achiever - Mike Foan
Mike held multiple roles at Bradninch CC from 1972-2002 helping the club develop into the success it is today.
He then moved to Cheriton Fitzpaine CC and threw himself into groundsmanship and club development: renovating the square, enlarging the ground and raising funds for a new pavilion.
His commitment to cricket in the area is outstanding and fully deserving of this award.
"I have loved cricket from a young age and at 17 volunteered to be 2nd XI captain in order to keep the team going," says Mike. "This led to a host of roles at Bradninch before having children and moving to Cheriton where I took on improving and maintaining the ground.
"I love the peaceful setting where I can relax, prepare the pitches and provide for lots of people to enjoy their cricket."
Andy Rickard (Cornwood CC) - Over 30 years at the club nurturing young cricketers.
Chris Theedom (Sandford CC) - Approaching 50 years of groundsmanship and devotion to the club.
A huge congratulations to all of our nominees and thank you to every volunteer across clubs in Devon, without whom cricket would not be possible.