Jane Reeson earns NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Award
Jane Reeson has won the #Raisethebat award in the NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs).
The Over Cricket Club chairman, club welfare officer and honorary fixture secretary was recognised for going above and beyond to help connect the club with its community during a challenging summer for the recreational game.
During an enforced hiatus after being furloughed, Reeson spent long hours every day working with the community – doing shopping, walking dogs, getting prescriptions for those shielding – and in a video broadcast during the Vitality Blast Finals Day last weekend, was described as an “absolute gem”, “the heart of Over Cricket Club” and “the mother of Over Cricket Club”.
“Thank you for the award, thank you for the people that nominated me and thank you to everybody that volunteered during Covid whether that be in the community or going the extra mile in the club,” said Reeson.
“I’ve just done what I enjoy which is being with people. I'm honoured."
Another winner of the OSCAs, which have been running since 2003, was Isleham Cricket Club, who earned the NatWest Connecting Communities Award.
The club set up a volunteer group of more than 100 people to help the elderly and vulnerable during lockdown delivering up to 300 fruit and vegetable boxes a week.
An unused telephone box was used as a community pantry while iPads were donated to those with family members in hospital so they could stay in touch.
Cambridgeshire county councillor Mark Goldsack said:“It was all about what was needed to help the most vulnerable in the village. It’s just exploded into a whole plethora of services that has been an absolute life’s pleasure to be involved with. It has really bought the community together.”
Nick Pryde, ECB director of participation and growth, said: “In this most difficult of summers the community spirit of our cricket clubs across England and Wales has shone through and provided another reminder of the importance our game can play in the lives of so many people.
“This year’s NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards showcase the very best of our game and the lengths people will go to in a time of crisis. I want to join in the rest of the cricket community in conveying my utmost thanks to all volunteers who have gone above and beyond this summer and to thank you all for your considerable efforts.”
Martyn Wilson, head of sponsorship at NatWest Group, commented: “In recognition of an extraordinary year for the sport, we’re delighted to be honouring today both the community club heroes and the professional stars who have made this season so special as part of the first NatWest Cricket Awards. We want to congratulate all the winners for their contribution to the sport and the cricketing community.”