CRICKET enthusiasts from the Hills featured large in the latest round of WA Cricket’s volunteer of the year awards.
Paul Clune of Bakers Hill started a cricket club for the small regional community following six years without a team and at a time when the emergence of the club was critical to the ongoing sustainability of the Northam Cricket Association.
He collected the country volunteer award (male) at an awards presentation at the WACA, in recognition of his leadership and ability to foster ‘a fair go’ approach for all ages and levels of ability in junior and senior cricket.
Clune captains, coaches and manages the Northam Cricket Association’s B Grade senior team, and umpires, scores, manages and is assistant coach of the Avon West Cricket Academy under-16s team.
He also managed Northam’s under-14s team in the Peel Junior Cricket Carnival and built a sustainable engagement model for indigenous youth and small regional community.
Winner of the female award in the same category went to Melinda Lucas from Toodyay Cricket Club and her father John accepted the award on her behalf.
A major aspect of Lucas’ achievements has been her continuing support for development of girls’ cricket in Northam and its surrounds.
This season, she coordinated and established the new Perth Scorchers Girls 15s competition for the Northam Cricket Association.
Lucas also managed and coached the Wheatbelt team in the Girls Country Cricket Carnival in recent years, resulting in the growth of female cricket in the region.
The top gong of volunteer of the year (male) went to David Horsley, of Senior Cricket WA, recognising his contribution to cricket as a volunteer for more than 55 years.
Realising there was a gap in WA’s over 60s division, Horsley worked for 12 months to form a state over-60s cricket team and following two years of hard work, WA took part in the national Over 60s/70s Cricket Championships for the first time at Adelaide’s 2012 tournament.
With an interest in seeing the division expand, he offered to host the eleventh national championships in Perth in 2016.
He garnered support from the Over 60s team, the WACA, Tourism WA and the Minister for Sport and Recreation, and his efforts were rewarded when Perth was selected to host the championships.
WA Cricket General Manager for Game and Market Development Jo Davies said volunteers were integral to the fabric of cricket in WA.
“If we had to pay for the hours volunteers work, the sport would not survive,” she said.
“And while there are many reasons why people put their hand up to volunteer, it can often be a thankless job. We are extremely grateful to all our volunteers and thank them for their continued support of community cricket.”