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Top award for Gotherington Cricket Club husband and wife team

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 19th November 2021, 09:00

Yvonne and Brian Cosgrove Yvonne and Brian Cosgrove

A husband and wife team who have done so much for a village cricket club for so many years have been honoured for their countless hours of hard work by those at the top of the game.

Brian and Yvonne Cosgrove, who have been running the junior section at Gotherington Cricket Club for the past 24 years, have won the 2021 Gloucestershire ‘Outstanding Contribution – Services to Cricket Coaching’ award.

“We’re both completely chuffed,” said Brian. “It’s great for a club the size of Gotherington, we don’t even play adult league cricket, although we have entered the National Village Knockout next season.”

And Brian, a former player and captain at the club – he’s treasurer and groundsman these days, as well as being junior coordinator – is keen to stress that he is just one half of the winning team.

“This award is just as much recognition for Yvonne as it is for me,” he said. “I’m not sure if there has been a husband-and-wife winner before.”

Two other awards have also been handed out with Luke Sellers, who has done so much for Cheltenham Cricket Club in recent times and for cricket generally over many years, winning the Gloucestershire ‘Outstanding Contribution – Services to Coach Development’, while Ryan Walker, head coach of Gloucestershire Girls Under-13s, has won the Gloucestershire ‘Outstanding Contribution – Coach of the Year’.

Anyone who has been involved with Gotherington CC over the years will know just how much Yvonne Cosgrove, who combines being the junior coordinator with that of club secretary, has done for the youth section – organising, cajoling, encouraging, as well as scoring countless games.

Brian and Yvonne were notified of their award via an email from the ECB, although Brian added with a laugh: “Initially I thought it was a spam email, I had to ring up to make sure!”

It wasn’t spam, of course, and the happy couple are now looking forward to attending the County Awards dinner at Derbyshire County Cricket Club on Saturday 27th November.

On the journey up from their home in Gotherington they will surely take time to reflect on just how much they have achieved over nearly quarter of a century.

“When we set up the youth section, we only had five people at the first session,” recalled Brian.

“We managed to get an under-11 side out but most of them had never played any cricket!”

Fast forward to the season just ended and the club had teams competing at under-11, under-13 and under-15 age groups, in addition to holding weekly net sessions on a Saturday morning.

Such has been its success that Brian reckons that more than 300 players have played junior cricket at the club over the years.

So how much longer does Brian think they will go on running the youth section?

“Yvonne has been saying for the last 24 years that this season is the last,” laughed Brian.

“It would be nice if someone would volunteer to take over. But it’s not just the training and coaching, it’s the background stuff – picking the teams, the admin side.”

He’s absolutely right, of course, and that is why Brian and Yvonne, who have confirmed they will head up Gotherington’s youth section again next year, are such deserving winners of the award.

In making the award, the Gloucestershire Cricket Board wrote: “Brian and Yvonne Cosgrove are a husband and wife team who together have managed Gotherington Juniors Cricket Club for in excess of 20 years.

“Brian and Yvonne organise matches and training sessions for in excess of 60 juniors, aged between six and 15. Brian is also responsible for maintaining the cricket pitch and managing the finances.

“The couple have no interest other than helping the local community and ensuring that cricket is accessible to all in the village. They are a credit to the sport and worthy of this award.”

On Luke Sellers, the GCB wrote: “Luke is a worthy recipient of this award. He has been a Coach Education tutor for over 10 years and has tutored and assessed on numerous courses across the county. He has also designed and run workshops and mentoring programmes for coaches.

“He has delivered courses with enthusiasm and really looks to develop and inspire the individuals who he works with.

“During Covid, Luke coordinated and ran a series of online CPD sessions to help the county’s coaches prepare for the new season with a set of free online workshops.

“Run in partnership with the Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB), Luke enlisted the support of the Gloucestershire’s head coach and members of his squad to offer their insight into a range of topics from building successful teams to the best ways to develop modern batsmen, bowlers and fielders.

“The workshops were regularly attended by over 100 individuals and proved a great success in the climate at that time.

“On top of his tutoring, Luke is also a county pathway’s coach at boys and girls age groups. The amount of time he spends tutoring and coaching highlights the enthusiasm and desire he has in looking to develop individuals both as coaches and players.”

Of Ryan Walker the GCB wrote: “Ryan Walker is at the heartbeat of women and girls’ cricket within Gloucestershire, both pathway performance and the recreational game.

“Ryan is head coach for the County Girls U13s performance and development team and in this role it is hard to come across a more enthusiastic and positive individual. He manages to have the perfect holistic approach that is needed for the women and girls’ game while providing the high-quality coaching that is essential for pathway cricket.

“Across the course of this summer Ryan has run girls-only Dynamo programmes at no less than five clubs, doing all he can to help grow and nurture the game. All this is done in the very little free time he has while having a full-time job outside of cricket.

“Thanks to Ryan, over 100 girls will have had one of the best possible introductions into cricket and will hopefully develop a lifelong love for the game. He volunteers at every opportunity and is a coach who can be counted on time and time again.

“During the most recent lockdown, Ryan held weekly Zoom meetings with both the parents and girls, offering virtual coaching, exercise classes, quizzes and bingo – even carrying out a virtual presentation evening with awards that had been delivered prior to the evening.

“This summer Ryan also created the Cirencester/Cotswolds hub – this coaching and playing facility allows girls across this area to play and train weekly within a female-only environment, not only giving those involved an opportunity at weekly U15 girls’ fixtures but also providing other clubs already participating within that format extra fixtures.

“Ryan has also hosted a number of women’s softball festivals this year across the county, where his vibrancy, love for the game and enthusiasm is so well suited, there is nothing more wonderful than seeing young girls and women alike seeing Ryan take such joy from coaching them, it allows them to see the value in themselves and really believe that their role within cricket matters.

“If every Cricket/County Board had a Ryan Walker they would be extremely lucky. We are indebted for all he does, it is just a shame you can’t bottle it!”

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