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Two Sussex volunteers win at national Grassroots Cricket Awards

Two volunteers from Sussex have been honoured for their service to recreational cricket at the England & Wales Cricket Board’s national Grassroots Cricket Awards.

Des O’Dell of Southwick CC and the Adur Cricket Cluster Group has won the ‘Connecting Communities’ award and Hurstpierpoint CC’s Oliver Sebire-Harris has been named ‘Rising Star’.

Des formed the Adur Cricket Cluster Group, which has brought together six clubs to help inclusion and activity for all with one goal - improving participation in cricket.

Oliver was part of the Young Leaders scheme and coaches at his club’s junior teams from U7 to U15 level as well as scoring and umpiring for the U10s. This summer he organised a charity match to raise money for Alzheimer's UK and the Ruth Strauss Foundation. He did all this while playing himself every Saturday and studying for his exams.

Des and Oliver are two of nine national winners of the Grassroots Cricket Awards, previously known as the Outstanding Contribution to Cricket Awards.

Sussex Cricket Foundation will host the county’s Grassroot Cricket Awards this Sunday 19th September.

This year, a total of 42,000 volunteers from across England and Wales have helped their local clubs and communities to play more cricket and get more people involved in the game than ever before.

This summer has seen records breaking across the game, particularly in recreational cricket, with over 100,000 kids playing in All Stars and Dynamos, including Sky Sports’ Dynamos Cricket Intros. There’s also been strong growth in adult recreational cricket after 10,000 more fixtures were played this season in comparison to 2019 World Cup summer.

Opportunities in women’s cricket have gone from strength to strength with 41 professional domestic contracts given at the beginning of the year, The Hundred showcasing record attendances for women’s games and 738 additional events throughout Women’s Big Cricket Month.

Carl Tupper, a Sussex Cricket Territory Manager, said: “Recreational cricket in Sussex is fueled by the passion and dedication of volunteers, there are hundreds of incredible individuals and stories from across the county and seeing the Adur Cricket Cluster Group & Oliver Sebire-Harris being recognised on a national level is truly deserved. We look forward to our celebration event on Sunday, at which we reveal our Sussex winners in eight categories.”

ECB Director of Participation and Growth, Nick Pryde, said: “We want all our volunteers to know just how much we appreciate them and the time they put into making the cricket community such a positive place. It’s wonderful to be able to recognise and thank so many of them in such a meaningful way. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners of the Grassroots Cricket Awards and those being recognised for their efforts, we couldn’t do it without you.”  

Full list on national Grassroots Cricket Awards winners:

  • Des O’Dell (Sussex) – ‘Connecting Communities’
  • Shana Thomas (Wales) – ‘Inspired to Play’
  • Oliver Sebire-Harris (Sussex) – ‘Rising Star’
  • Mollie Rathbourne (Staffordshire) – ‘Rising Star’
  • Don Winspear (Yorkshire) – ‘Unsung Hero’
  • David and Lucy Lyle (Surrey) – ‘Growing the Game’
  • Tom Howorth (Lancashire) – ‘Lifetime Achiever’
  • Luke Brooksby (Yorkshire) – ‘Cricket Innovators’
  • Harry Boyle (Lancashire) – ‘Game Changer’


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