Downend CC was named Allstars Cricket Centre of the Year at the NatWest OSCAs (Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards) ceremony at Lord’s.
Thom Manning and Rob Ayerst received their award from former England captain Michael Vaughan in front of an audience made up of OSCA winners from across the country including six from Gloucestershire.
You can listen to an interview with Thom and Downend junior activator Ollie Louch on Geoff Twentyman’s Sports Store show on BBC Radio Bristol by clicking the link below https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/p06l15tm and going to 6min 48 seconds.
Downend was chosen ahead of more than 200 Allstars centres from across the country for a fantastic programme that saw 86 children take part in 2018. The club also trained 15 young leaders to help run the coaching and created a friendly, social atmosphere that included weekly barbecues.
Thom said: “We were very honoured and surprised to win. We are just trying to the best job we can to get children playing cricket and someone has obviously liked what they have seen.
“The OSCAs was a fantastic event. We were sat on a table with Michael Vaughan and it was a really good day allround.”
The Glos winners in attendance included Winchcombe stalwart Dipak Basu (Lifetime Achievement) and Dymock CC chairman Martin Fowke (Heartbeat of the Club) who were both shortlisted for the national award in their respective categories.
Also representing the county at the event were Gloucestershire County Cricket League webmaster Samuel Huntley (Young Volunteer), umpire Jeff Chandra (Officiating – Umpires and Scorers), Roger Neck from the Bristol & District Cricket Association (Leagues and Boards) and Sheepscombe chairman Elisabeth Skinner (NatWest CricketForce).
Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) communications officer, Luke Sellers who accompanied the Gloucestershire winners at Lord’s said the event had
He said: “The OSCAs ceremony is a really special event. No expense was spared and it felt like a fitting way to say thank you to an inspirational group of people whose work often goes unseen. It was a great privilege to spend the day with the winners from Gloucestershire. Without their hard work and dedication grass roots cricket simply wouldn’t be thriving in the county to the extent that it is.”