Downham Town Cricket Club’s youth co-ordinator Niel Wynn has been honoured with a prestigious award.
Wynn has collected the Downham Town Sports Federation’s RH ‘Dick’ Firmage accolade for his tireless work over the last few years.
Appointed to the post in 2010, Wynn has devoted his time and efforts into the youth section of the club over the past eight seasons, devoting most of his energy on the younger members.
During this time, his is overall duties have been wide and varied.
These have included coaching, dealing with parents, other youth coaches and team managers, fixtures, and kit, and keeping the club up-to-date with the ever-changing and stringent ECB rules regarding child welfare, and health and safety.
Downham Club has always been overlooked by the Norfolk County Cricket Association when it comes to the ECB ‘Chance to Shine’ initiative.
The Chance to Shine scheme sees coaching grants made available to clubs, to enable them to pay coaches to go into local schools, to coach children and maybe get them to join their local establishment.
Without this type of initiative, local cricket as we know it will slowly diminish.
Despite the lack of support at county level, Wynn has taken this task on himself.
He has voluntary gone into numerous local primary schools in the Downham and surrounding areas, even on his days off after working a 12-hour shift at Wissington Sugar Factory.
His efforts have introduced new youth cricketers to the club and this season the club’s under-11 side won their league.
Wynn’s challenge now is to nurture their talents into potential first team players – a task well within his capabilities.
Other than his work with the youth set-up, Wynn also plays for the club’s second team and Norfolk Over 60s, while on Sunday’s he is an integral part of the charity raising Black Sheep team who play all over the county.
The committee considered Wynn to be the worthy winner for 2017.
Others recommended for the award were: Matt Pyatt, Hannah Brown and Rebecca Tuff, all from Ryston Runners.