Six representatives of the New South Wales volunteer cricket community were named as finalists of the Sport NSW Community Sports Awards presented at NSW Parliament House last Thursday.

Cricket NSW Community Engagement Manager Julie Stafford said it was fantastic to acknowledge the many hours these volunteers have put into the game.

“These wonderful volunteers represent the vast army of people across NSW who do such great work in cricket clubs and Associations,” said Stafford.

Volunteers and community organisations involved with cricket across the state were initially nominated in eight of the 10 categories from which six were selected as finalists for a range of awards.

Community Coach of the Year

David Williams – Penrith Junior Cricket Association

For the past three years, Mr Williams has administered the junior girls’ representative programs in the Penrith region which has seen numerous young cricketers from the area progress to Cricket NSW squads and teams.

He was also primarily responsible for the establishment of the first all girls cricket competition in Penrith two seasons ago.

Young Coach of the Year

Sean McAllister – Thornleigh Cricket Club

This young man was acknowledged for his pivotal involvement in the creation of a new Under 13 girls team within the Thornleigh Cricket Club – the Perry Under 13s – by volunteering to coach the side at the request of his sister.

In addition to guiding this inexperienced group of cricketers, he combined his commitments with his own cricket and school.

Community Sports Administrator of the Year

Brad Speering – South Coast Junior Cricket Association

Mr Speering is the Treasurer of Gerringong Cricket Club, Board Member of the South Coast Junior Association and was a key driver behind the implementation of T20 Blast on the South Coast.

Due to his leadership, all clubs in the South Coast Junior Association now field junior teams.

Community Team of the Year

NSW Blind Cricket Team

This team was recognised for its success at the 2018 National Cricket Inclusion Championships where they claimed their first title since 1994 with a hard fought three-run victory over Victoria in the final.

The champions went through the competition undefeated.

Community Club of the Year

Thornleigh Cricket Club

This club was credited for its significant growth in recent years from one junior and senior team, to nine junior and two senior sides.

It has also developed two girls’ teams and actively encourages inclusiveness with the club very supportive of players with vision impairment or other health issues.

Distinguished Long Service

James Brennan

“Jim”, as he is affectionately known, was acknowledged for his 69-year involvement with Newcastle cricket, including 40 years and over 1,300 matches as an official umpire.

Mr Brennan was the first Public Officer of the Newcastle Junior Cricket Association and has served as selector and coach at the junior representative and school level.

“We’d like to thank all the volunteers across NSW for their assistance last season and look forward to working with everyone again this season,” said Stafford.