A DEDICATED cricket coach has been honoured for his voluntary services towards the sport.
James Boyd, who is junior co-ordinator at Warkworth Cricket Club, received the Young Volunteer award in The Northumberland NatWest OSCAs (Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards) for 2011.
The OSCAs are aimed at recognising those volunteers in the recreational game of cricket who give so much of their time to the game.
James, 23, was named as one of seven category winners in the region, as announced by the Northumberland Cricket Board Limited.
All seven grass-roots heroes were recently presented with their awards at the Smithson Northumberland County Cup Final at Benwell Hill Cricket Club and will be invited to be part of the ECB National Event at Lord’s Cricket Ground in October.
A delighted James said: “The presentation was a great way to hear how volunteers and award winners have been dedicating their time and contributing to the sport of cricket.
“It’s astonishing to hear the input that volunteers across the county have given to make cricket such an enjoyable sport to take part in. There is some outstanding work being carried out by volunteers and if I am honest I was surprised to win the award as there were so many great stories about what people have been up to.”
James, from South Broomhill, has been a volunteer cricket coach at Warkworth for seven years, having started when he was a sixth form student at Amble’s Coquet High School, which is now James Calvert Spence College – Acklington Road.
He took over the reins of the junior coordinator role from his older brother two years ago and has shown great enthusiasm to ensure the junior section at Warkworth Cricket Club continues to provide local youngsters with an opportunity to play cricket in fantastic facilities.
Without his involvement, the junior section would have struggled to continue and he has ensured that regular numbers continue to enjoy playing the game, looking after boys and girls teams.
He has organised regular events including U9 festivals, beach cricket and trips to Durham T20 games and has also completed his Level 2 coaching award, thanks largely to his efforts with district squads and mentoring from Level 3 coaches and tutors.
Dedicated James was nominated for the OSCAs by Robert Woods, who is cricket development officer for NCL Sport Development.
Ian Wardle, director for Northumberland Cricket Board Limited, said: “Congratulations go to the winners and nominees of the third OSCAs celebration.
“In Northumberland, we have hundreds of people who have devoted their lives to cricket and I would personally like to thank all our volunteers in Northumberland cricket, not just those honoured at the event.”
Other Northumberland NatWest OSCAs winners: Behind the Scenes – Michael Robinson, Corbridge Cricket Club; Building Partnerships – Chris Catnach, Stocksfield Cricket Club; Leagues and Boards – Don Catley, North East Midweek Cricket League; NatWest Cricketforce – Olwyn Hocking, Newcastle Cricket Club; Outside the scorebox – Brian Wilkin, Northumberland Officials Association; Lifetime Achiever – Simon Lunn, Benwell Hill Cricket Club.