On Sunday, September 10 Devon Cricket, who facilitate the Women's Softball League and the Girls' League, came together with the committee members of the Devon Women's League to thank the volunteers who contribute so much to the success of the female game in Devon.
"Everyone who has helped to get a game on this season within the women's and girl's league has contributed to our county's success in the growth of the game and ensured that the cricket landscape of Devon is more diverse and representative" commented Ann-Marie Presswell. "I can organise events, leagues and initiatives, but if the clubs didn't have the volunteers that they do, then no one would come. They are the driving force in the game and no matter how small the contribution, they should be thanked"
Following on from the success of last year, the awards were given during the interval of Final's Day. It was a great way to end the season and for players and representatives from all parts of the game to come together.
Ahead of the winners being announced, the runners-up were celebrated and awarded their certificates
Mia Spears and Jess Rose (Hatherleigh Cricket Club (pictured)), Kathryn Bubb (Budleigh Salterton CC), Kate Graves (Ivybridge CC), Jack Greening (Holsworthy CC), Ellie Ingham- Hill (Bovey Tracey CC), Caitlin Newsome (Heathcoat CC), Emily Shawcross (Filleigh CC), Jan Witheridge (North Devon CC).
All runners-up received an afternoon tea box for them to enjoy.
Inspirational Young Cricketer (11-16) winner: Holly Walsh (Whimple CC)
In June 2023 Holly took part in the Young Storm Champions, a leadership programme for young girls. Since then, she has undertaken a variety of roles at the club. She is keen, reliable and enthusiastic. She has coached All Stars and several of the youth teams, as well as taking on the responsibility of scoring for the second team on Saturday. She has become invaluable to the club.
Inspirational Young Cricketer (17-25) winner: Imogen Daldorph (Thorverton CC)
"Everyone needs an Imogen at their club" commented Imogen's nominee. She is enthusiastic, patient and encouraging to all the children who come to train on a Friday. She is a real asset to the club and a great role model to all the young females. "Thorverton CC are very lucky to have you!"
Balancing the Game winner: Mary Graves (Ivybridge CC)
Mary has been the lynchpin of the women and girls' section of the club. She has worked hard within the committee to challenge established club protocols to ensure that the interests of the women and girls' game are met. She has done this with tact and good grace.
Taking Control winner: Hayley Hawkins (Cullompton CC)
Since returning to the club after having a baby, Hayley has thrown herself back into club life, both volunteering and playing. She has co-ordinated Play Cricket for the club and scored many junior and senior fixtures. She has been instrumental in building the girls' game at the club. She is a shining example of all the positive role models a female can play at a club.
Leading the Way winner: Lauren Bowden (North Devon CC)
Lauren has been involved with North Devon CC and Tarka Women's team for as many years. She has grown into the role of captain at the club. For years she has worked hard to ensure that all players are given the opportunity to play, often sacrificing her own cricket to make sure this happens. She organises the training. She is enthusiastic and encouraging and the female section of the cricket club would not be the same without her.
Coach/Manager of the Year winner: Emily Steed (Ivybridge CC)
Emily has been there from the first evening that Ivybridge CC opened their gates at a women's softball taster session and has been tireless in her drive and desire to make it all a success. Taking her Foundation Coaching Course and the responsibility for training, as well as ensuring that everything runs like clockwork, she is invaluable to the female section of the club. Emily will often sacrifice her own cricket to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate and ensure that the roles of umpire or scorer are covered.
During her presentation, Emily asked to speak and was insistent that she share the award with her nominee, Belinda Crowhurst, who has been working with her every step of the way. It was a very touching moment. We all appreciate that many of the volunteer roles rely on a team that work well together to get everything done.
|Leading the way
|Balancing the Game
L-R: Mary Graves, Belinda Crowhurst, Emily Steed
The volunteer awards concluded with awards for up-and-coming volunteers. Jasmyne Watson. Holly Walsh and Sophie Brandom had all taken part in the Young Storm Champions initiative supported by Western Storm and have volunteered for over 35 hours at their club. They will receive a special message from a Western Storm Player, as well as receiving a Western Storm Hoodie. Ella Gill also came up to collect her rewards of a water bottle and portable charger, as she had volunteered for 25 hours.
"It is great to see the next generation of female volunteers coming through, so that young girls know that cricket is much more than just playing the game," said Ann-Marie.
Many thanks to Sandford Cricket Club for hosting the event, which also covered the Devon Girls' Cricket League and Devon Women's Softball League Finals. All the results from these games can be found here.
It was a perfect day to end the season.
If you would like to know more about the women and girls' game in Devon then please contact Ann-Marie Presswell.