CRICKET fanatic Carl Tupper is celebrating a major double award boost.
The West Wittering first-team captain, who also gives his time as a club volunteer and a cricket coach, received a special award in recognition of his commitment to the sport in the NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs) at Lord’s.
And Tupper’s outstanding contribution to the grass-roots game has been recognised by Sky Sports with a nomination for young coach of the year.
He won the Lord’s prize in front of guests including ex-England captains Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss and BBC Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew.
Tupper, presented with his OSCA by England’s Jonny Bairstow, said: “I’m delighted to have won the award - it was an honour just to have been shortlisted and I enjoyed a memorable day at Lord’s.
“I’ve met some of my cricketing heroes and swapped stories with the other volunteers whose hard work is helping the grass-roots game.”
As a dedicated volunteer at West Wittering, Tupper has been at the centre of the club’s development, guiding the first team to two promotions in as many seasons, coaching the junior and senior members of the club and taking an active role in fundraising for vital club developments.
The winner of the Young Volunteer award, joined 400 specially invited guests and VIPs from the cricketing world to celebrate the achievements and role of volunteers involved in all aspects and levels of the game.
Another former England skipper, Mike Gatting, managing director of Cricket Partnerships, ECB, said: “Volunteers play a vital role in ensuring our grass-roots game can continue to flourish and these awards are a fantastic way of recognising their contribution.”
Tupper has also been exceeding in his role as coach at his West Sussex Invitation League club and his efforts have not gone unnoticed in the Sky Sports initiative.
To mark his nomination, Tupper attended a day at the National Cricket Performance Centre, which included skills masterclass sessions with former England International and current spin coach Peter Such, Leicestershire batting coach Ben Smith and Durham fast bowling coach Neil Killeen.
The sessions were followed by a tour of the centre and a presentation ceremony, a reward for being nominated in the Sky Sports ECB coach education programme’s young coach category.
Tupper became a voluntary helper at West Wittering CC aged 15 and has since helped the colts establish two regular league sides and maintain a Saturday league side, establishing them as an excellent team who are sweeping their way through the Sussex leagues.
He is involved in committee duties where his hard work in fundraising and staging social events continues to attract a range of people from the community. He even writes the West Wittering match reports for the Observer.
Tupper was overjoyed with the nomination and hopes the classes will help him improve his coaching.
“I am delighted to be recognised by Sky Sports and the ECB and to be nominated for the Young Coach of the Year award,” he said. “I love coaching and having the opportunity to attend a masterclass session with three great coaches will really help me develop my skills further. I can now go back to West Wittering CC and pass on a number of useful drills for all areas of the game.”
Thirty-three coaches, all under 25, from across England and Wales were recognised in the Sky awards. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Warwick in January.