Wiltshire coaches recognised at Ageas Bowl Test Match
Three Wiltshire coaches were recently recognised for their coaching contributions during 2018 as they received their ECB Coach Awards at the recent England v India Test Match at the Ageas Bowl.
The ECB Coach Awards are an annual awards that recognise coaching contributions in each county within three categories:
Young Coach of the Year - Owen Alsop
As well as being a current Wiltshire cricketer Owen, at the age of 24, made the unusual decision for someone so young to start to give something back to the game in the form of delivering not only coaching but mentoring support.
Joining Chippenham Cricket Club in 2015, Owen was keen to provide as much assistance to his fellow club mates as possible, despite not holding a coaching qualification. However using the huge amount of playing experience that he had gained through playing the game, he instantly became an asset for the club. From tiny acorns, mighty oak trees grow. Owen became the oak tree that Chippenham Cricket Club have been able to build their club around. He quickly took on a overall role of lead coach for the club, spending time with the players of all the teams within the club, not just the first XI for which he was playing.
Despite his lack of qualifications, Owen was happy to run the winter indoor programmes for the club, trying to ensure that all of the activities would be applicable for every player involved. He would talk to everyone, encourage everyone and make everyone aware that they were a vital part of the club.
In the winter of 2016/17, Owen made the decision to make his role more official within the club by completing his first ECB coaching qualification course, the Certificate of Coaching Young Players and Adults Cricket. He took on board as much of the learning as was available to him. His supported practice sessions were expertly delivered and the overall feedback from everyone within Chippenham Cricket Club could not have been any more generous.
With his qualification now in hand, Owen has become in demand with opportunities opening up to him from other clubs, at district level and county level as well. He has been involved in coaching district Under 15s boys on the Wiltshire North programme, as well as participating in County 2nd XI programmes.
Such has been his success, Burbage and Easton Cricket Club have most recently provided Owen with a fantastic opportunity to work with their players for the 2018 season where he has continued the great work that began a few years ago at Chippenham CC.
Coach of the Year - Steve Morris
Steve Morris has made a phenomenal contribution to girls’ cricket at Marshfield Cricket Club, and has built one of the largest and most inclusive girls youth sections in the area. Steve has developed a section from a handful of girls, to one that numbers over 90, and the section is now able to put out teams at every age group from U7 to U15. As well as the comments you will see below the club as a whole would add that Steve dedicates a ferocious amount of time to girls cricket, and to the development of the youth section more widely, being one of the core team that comprises the Youth Committee.
Comments from Marshfield CC....
Club Chairman - Over the years as chairman of Marshfield cricket club I have made many recommendations for awards, all deserving for extremely hard working individuals. Steve Morris is no exception because he is an exceptional man. His commitment to girls cricket is absolute. His incredible drive, enthusiasm and commitment to his cause of giving girls the opportunity of playing and enjoying this wonderful game of cricket has been remarkable.
A player, aged 8 - Cricket is my favourite sport because Steve always makes fun games up and is patient, kind, helpful and always has a smile on his face and he always makes time for you to come and play.
A parent - My daughter asked to go up to Marshfield Cricket Club because a few buddies from her local school had mentioned it. In the early days there weren't many girls and almost none had any cricket experience. Through Steve's hard work and determination we've seen those early girls develop great cricketing skills with bat and ball. Steve is interested in the youngest to the oldest players and always gives of his time freely. The girls’ section has gone from strength to strength and looks set to continue that way because of Steve's vision many years ago.
Another parent - Steve Morris has lead a quiet revolution at Marshfield Cricket Club, from establishing the first girls team in six or seven years ago to now seeing Girls cricket right at the heart of the Youth Section, with nearly 100 girls training and playing regularly. He has lead this exponential growth with a gentle, unassuming leadership creating an environment where girls feel welcome, confident, able to have fun and empowered to play cricket.
Outstanding Contribution - Trevor Pittman
During his time with South Wilts, Trevor Pittman has been involved as a player, a team captain, a coach, a father to three playing members, the Youth Section lead, Clubmark representative and Club Chairman. In fact there are almost certainly as many other roles that he has held no already listed.
Prior to the last South Wilts CC AGM, Trevor announced that he was standing down from his role as Cricket Chairman after a hugely successful eight years stint in charge. James Hayward, the incoming Chairman for 2018 said “Trevor’s commitment has been incredible and the club is indebted to him for all the brilliant work he carried out. If he wasn’t at work then more often than not he was at the ground mending a sight-screen or chairing a committee meeting.”
He continued, “You can’t replace a Trevor Pittman, the work he has done for the club is incredible. He has left me a strong club to take on and the club are hugely grateful to him. It has been a pleasure working with him for the past eight years. He has passed on so much learning to everyone around him.”
Taking over as chairman for the 2011 season, the following seasons saw Trevor oversee and be involved with committees on projects as varied as:
- The construction of the new South Wilts pavilion
- The refurbishment of the Academy Ground pavilion
- the installation of superb new net facilities,
- erection of two state of the art electronic scoreboards
- an improved playing surface following its resurfacing earlier this decade
As the leader of the club, he has seen the club win 5 Premier league titles, countless lower division titles and an enormous number of junior league and cup titles.
Trevor has been an enormous asset to the South Wilts Cricket Club and he thoroughly deserves to win this award