Sussex will recognise the unsung heroes of the recreational game in the county when more than 500 people from around 50 clubs attend their Volunteer Reward Day at the Royal London One-Day Cup match against Surrey.
The event at Hove on Sunday (14 August) is part of Sussex’s Volunteer Action Plan. It recognises those who put in countless hours around the county at clubs and community groups at all levels of the game to keep recreational cricket in Sussex thriving and participation numbers at a record high.
The highlight of the day’s celebrations will be when 13 winners from the 80 nominees for the ECB Grassroots Cricket Awards and ECB Coach Awards are presented with their honours during the interval by Sussex chair Jon Filby and chief executive Rob Andrew.
As part of their plan to reward and recognise the work of volunteers across Sussex, 50 clubs applied to access the Volunteer Reward Fund.
The fund enables clubs to reward key volunteers as a thank you for making games happen without having to cover the cost. So far, £8,500 has been reinvested back into recreational cricket around Sussex.
Like all counties, Sussex are acutely aware that without a large, enthusiastic volunteer sector across adult and junior cricket, matches and coaching simply would not take place.
Gary Wallis-Tayler, community cricket director, said: “Volunteers are critical to the successful running of cricket and without them clubs and many community-based programmes wouldn’t operate.
“By inviting volunteers to the 1st Central County Ground to say a simple thank you and to recognise those who go above and beyond, it shows how much Sussex Cricket value volunteers across the game.
“Recreational cricket in Sussex is the strongest it’s ever been and I would personally like to say a massive thank you to everyone who devotes their time to helping grow and sustain the game.”
Carl Tupper, who is one of Sussex’s three territory managers covering the county, said: “We’re excited to welcome Sussex’s volunteers to Hove to celebrate their season at the Surrey game.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to our reward initiatives this summer, meaning that more of those deserving volunteers in the county are rewarded and thanked for their efforts.
“As well as the winners of the Grassroots Awards, which will be announced on the day, clubs have also applied for the Volunteer Reward Fund which allows them to thank their own volunteers in their own way, without having to worry about the cost.”