JUSTIN Shaw has been in love with cricket since he first strapped on the pads at 10 years old.
After a long and successful 25 years as a player with the Ferndale/Lynwood Cricket Club, Shaw decided to pack away the whites in 2016.
But that was not the end of his involvement in the sport he loves.
The Harrisdale resident volunteers with Indoor Sports WA, coaching and mentoring a group of young adults with intellectual disabilities who share his love for cricket.
He goes a step further than sharing his knowledge and skills and can be found having friendly chats to them on the phone, accompanying them to events and even going to birthdays and other social occasions with them.
He said it was rewarding to meet and form friendships with the players and their families.
“These guys are fantastic,” he said.
“To see how much enjoyment they get out of playing for the state is indescribable, which is why I enjoy this privilege of coaching them.
“They are always smiling no matter the circumstances, what you see is what you get with them.”
Shaw’s dedication and service to the sport was rewarded recently when he was named the WACA’s Male Volunteer of the Year.
He said the award came as a big surprise.
“I was shocked,” he said.
“I am a person happy to sit in the background and just do my thing.
“I am very honoured yet humble-I don’t do this volunteer work for the gratitude, I do it for the boys enjoyment, it is all about them.
“A lot of people put in a lot of time but you would find most people don’t do it for reward or recognition, it becomes a passion and just a part of life.”