Shining A Light On Community Cricket Heroes
25 November 2016  
Former Country Cricket Board Wheatbelt Delegate John Lucas, Andrew Valance and WACA Board Statewide Game Development Committee Representative Peter Silinger

The WACA has this week launched its new-look WA Cricket Volunteer of the Year Awards for 2016-17 to celebrate and recognise the work of the sport’s invaluable volunteer workforce.
 
Volunteers take on roles ranging from coaching, scoring and umpiring, running club canteens, keeping the finances in check or leading clubs – all of which contributes significantly to the ongoing success of community cricket.
 
Andrew Vallance, winner of the 2014–15 Volunteer of the Year Award, was a shining example of the difference made by volunteers in the community.
 
For the past 10 years Andrew has volunteered in various roles, including coordinating, coaching and administering the AvonWest Cricket Academy, which has seen hundreds of young Aboriginal cricketers go through the Northam Junior Cricket Association.
 
Andrew’s investment in the program included driving the bus to each of the players’ homes to pick them up, provide them with breakfast, clean uniforms and get them ready for the match each week.
 
Andrew said one of the greatest thrills of volunteering in cricket was seeing the young players start to learn the game and take their first wicket, their first catch, and hit their first four.
 
"Their excitement and joy makes it all worth it. And as they learn to love the game, the deal is sealed,” Andrew said.
 
"No one volunteers to get an award and every volunteer knows there are a thousand like yourself out there who go unnoticed. But still, it is satisfying for the work volunteers do to be acknowledged and to be the one singled out was an honour and a thrill.
 
"Most volunteers would never nominate themselves as they are too busy and it's not even on their radar. But maybe there is someone in your club who goes above and beyond the call of duty to make your club work. Make sure you nominate them and let them know they are appreciated.”
 
WACA General Manager – Game & Market Development Jo Davies said the local community volunteers were integral to the fabric of cricket in Western Australia.
 
"Without the dedication, commitment and passion of the thousands of volunteers who give up their time each year, community cricket would not exist,” Ms Davies said.
 
"If we had to pay for the hours our volunteers work, the sport would not survive.”
 
Six award categories are open to eligible volunteers, including Young Volunteer of the Year, Toyota Country Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year, with a female and male winner for each.
For more information, or to nominate a volunteer, visit waca.com.au/volunteerawards