By Charles Randall
23 October 2012
Carl Tupper, a youthful cricketing dynamo from Sussex, has been honoured by the ECB for his work at West Wittering CC in the NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards at Lord's.
Tupper, in his third year as captain at the age of 19, led West Wittering to promotion from the Division Six in the West Sussex Invitation League, the second move upwards in consecutive years, though the Young Volunteer Award, presented to him by the England batsman Jonny Bairstow, recognised a wider contribution. Tupper effectively saved the club through fund-raising, increasing membership and driving the development of the junior section, and in 2012 the club fielded a regular league second team for the first time.
The BBC Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew hosted the 10th OSCA lunch, attended by more than 400 people from across the recreational game to celebrate achievements linked to volunteering in cricket. Tupper won his award ahead of the extraordinary young Afghan cricket lover Matiullah Haidar (Cricket for Change, Surrey) and Christopher Edwards (Cheshire disability squad).
Matiullah arrived in England only four years, having left Afghanistan in 2008 with no English and no qualifications. Since then he has qualified as a coach, captained a refugee cricket club and managed a team. Like Tupper and so many in the room, he has given up "countless hours" helping others, in his case through Cricket For Change in Surrey.
The NatWest CricketForce award was presented by Michael Vaughan to Amy Rowlinson, who made more than £36,000 of savings at Bromley Town CC in Kent through sourcing supplies and labour to develop the club’s facilities. Paul Daniels received the Building Partnerships award for his sterling work at Old Elthamians in Kent.
Mike Gatting, ECB managing director of cricket partnerships, presented Frank Wilkinson, from Morecambe CC in Lancashire, with the Lifetime Achievement award. Wilkinson dedicated over 50 years of service to his club, overseeing the ground transformation, developing a thriving junior section for boys and girls and creating new junior leagues across the district.
A special award of Outstanding Contribution to Disability Cricket was presented to the blind enthusiast David Townley by Hugh Robertson, Minister of State for Sport and the Olympics. After losing his sight at the age of 40, Townley has worked tirelessly in the interests of visually impaired cricketers, becoming a leading figure in the formation of the Blind Cricket England and Wales domestic league. He has been heavily involved with the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup in Bangalore later this year.
Paying tribute to the winners, Gatting said: "Volunteers play a vital role in ensuring that our grass-roots game can continue to flourish, and these awards are a fantastic way of recognising their contribution. I would like to thank each and every volunteer, young and old across the country who has given up time over the last 12 months to help their local cricket club. It’s thanks to the tireless work and self-sacrifice of volunteers that pitches get prepared, pavilions maintained and our games are scored and umpired. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners – you are the unsung heroes of our game and your awards are richly deserved."
Chris Long, senior manager sponsorship with UK Retail at NatWest, said: "We’re extremely proud to be supporting the NatWest OSCAs again. It’s so important to recognise and celebrate the efforts of volunteers at the end of another fantastic season of cricket, something this event does so uniquely. The winners of this year’s awards are truly remarkable people without whom community cricket would not be the wonderful game that we all enjoy today."
NatWest OSCAs 2012 winners
NatWest CricketForce: Amy Rowlinson (Bromley Town CC, Kent)
Disability Cricket: David Townley (blind cricket)
Building Partnerships: Paul Daniels (Old Elthamians CC, Kent)
Young Volunteer: Carl Tupper (West Wittering CC, Sussex)
Officiating, Umpires and Scorers: Lorraine Elgar (Kent)
Behind the Scenes: Jonathan Jackson (Bartestree & Lugwardine CC, Herefordshire)
Leagues and Boards: Phil Williams (Warwickshire)
Lifetime Achiever: Frank Wilkinson (Morecambe CC, Lancashire)
Behind the Scenes
Jonathan Jackson (Bartestree & Lugwardine CC, Herefordshire)
Dave Lander (Penn Street CC, Buckinghamshire)
Steve Martlew (Wigan CC, Lancashire)
Paul Daniels (Old Elthamians CC, Kent)
Richard Henchley (Newham CC, Essex)
John Smith (Dulwich CC, Surrey)
Leagues and Boards
Colin King (Mid Norfolk Sunday Cricket League)
Paul Grainger & Kevin Drew (North Worcestershire Cricket Development Group)
Phil Williams (Warwickshire Cricket Board & Midland CCC)
Chris Evans (Ashford CC, Surrey)
Peter Thomas (Swardeston CC, Norfolk)
Frank Wilkinson (Morecambe CC, Lancashire)
Bobby Cross (Heywood CC, Lancashire)
John Gray (Galleywood CC, Essex)
Amy Rowlinson (Bromley Town CC, Kent)
Officiating - Umpires & Scorers
Deborah Burns (Middlesex Association of Cricket Officials)
Lorraine Elgar (Swale Association of Cricket Umpires & Scorers, Kent)
Alan English (Thames Valley Cricket League, Bucks Association of Cricket Officials)
Carl Tupper (West Wittering CC, Sussex)
Christopher Edwards (Cheshire disability squad)
Matiullah Haidar (Cricket for Change, Surrey)