Club Cricket Conference

Tuesday, 30th November 2021

Lavis typifies volunteer spirit to be recognised at Lord's

By Charles Randall

27 September 2013

James Lavis, a former Wiltshire age-group player and a youthful head groundsman at Burbage and Easton Royal CC, has been short-listed for an ECB outstanding service to cricket award as one of a group of volunteers in the recreational game to be honoured at Lord's on Monday, 30 September.

Among many people giving service to the game Lavis provides a good example of overcoming a setback to help others. After his own fledgling playing career was cut short before the age of 20 by a serious injury in 2012, he dedicated himself to groundsmanship and to assisting other players at Burbage and Easton Royal. Lavis is one of three people, with Alex Havers (Norfolk) and Edgar Herridge (Somerset), to be short-listed in the young volunteer section, a 16-25 age group.

About 400 guests are due to converge on the Nursery Pavilion for the NatWest-sponsored OSCA awards, now in its 11th year. Eight winners will be announced in a scheme that forms an integral part of the NatWest and ECB volunteering programmes, which support cricket clubs in recruiting, educating and rewarding volunteers.

Lavis might not win the national award, but his attitude to the game at Burbage and Easton Royali s uplifting, and his story typifies the contribution made by so many unsung heroes. Marek Grabowski, chairman of the Wiltshire Leaguerunners-up, paid tribute to Lavis's energy and dedication. "James came to the club aged three to watch his dad. At seven he played for the Under-13s and on to every county age group, including the Academy. Last season James was injured and underwent a cruciate operation. Instead of moping, he looked for another outlet to help the club. He became our youngest head groundsman and persuaded three other under-20s to join him on the ECB course."

He added: "James is our youngest committee member and a natural leader, and judging by his ability to sell on our redundant machinery, a natural salesman too. James puts in 20 hours a week on top of his paid-for job to ensure the club’s 12 teams have the best surfaces to play on. Our thirds currently play on a leased field, but James ensured that they had a decent wicket to play on by recommending that the club donate a superfluous, final cut mower. He seems to absorb everything and respects the view of his elders. He coaches the juniors and teaches them the benefit of resilience."

OSCA short list nominees:

Behind the Scenes

Duncan Holden, Middlesex
Chris Moore, Staffordshire
Chloe Pedlow, Norfolk

Building Partnerships

Mike Harriman, Middlesex
Arshad Nawaz, Staffordshire
Azam Riyard, Sussex

Leagues and Boards

Peter Butter, Sussex
Vic Hassell, Cornwall
John Ridout, Dorset

Lifetime Achiever

Jack Greenwood, Yorkshire
Bill Matten, Devon
Mick Waghorn, Sussex

NatWest CricketForce

Nick Allcoat, Nottinghamshire
Rugeley CC, Staffordshire
Mark Slater, Derbyshire

Officiating - Umpires & Scorers

Peter Brown, Berkshire
Sue Drinkwater, Gloucestershire
Roland Kilby, Essex

Young Volunteer

Alex Havers, Norfolk
Edgar Herridge, Somerset
James Lavis, Wiltshire