Members of the Middlesex Coaches Association (MCoA) met recently to celebrate a successful year of coaching in the county and to recognise the achievements of the winners of the 2017 Middlesex Coaching Awards. It was a wonderful evening with members enjoying the company of our guests for the evening - Angus Fraser, Richard ‘Jono’ Johnson the Middlesex bowing coach and Rory Coutts who runs the Middlesex youth programme.
The ‘Young Coach of the Year Award’ was won by Mark Barrell who began his coaching career with Winchmore Hill CC where he was an integral part of the coaching team. Earlier this year, Mark started as an apprentice participation coach with the Middlesex Participation Team and, from the beginning, he displayed a real ‘can do’ attitude delivering great work in the school and community programmes across the County. Here’s a quote from a teacher in Islington ‘…Our final cricket session with Mark from Middlesex Cricket Club today! What an incredible experience… for our Year 3 classes. An incredible opportunity to develop not only skills in cricket, but also team work, perseverance and opportunities to strive for success… The quality was fantastic, and Mark is a real credit to Middlesex, the children loved him…’. Since then, Mark has taken on a full-time participation coaching role; Middlesex is fortunate to have such great young coaches as Mark.
Jim Clarke was awarded the ‘Coach of the Year Award’ for his outstanding work at Winchmore Hill CC. Over the past two years, Jim has built a strong rapport with the schools and children in Enfield Borough – he has established a cricket presence in 30 schools and has coached over 2,500 schoolchildren. Within the club during this time, he has increased the number of colts from 79 in 2015 to nearly 180 in 2017. The club will field three U11 teams in 2018 and now has about 50 U8 cricketers. He has also been a driving force in encouraging adults to play in the lower-order teams through his coaching, his energy and engagement. Jim has been a role model for coaches at Winchmore Hill both young and old, he has mentored coaches to their Level 2 qualification, and has encouraged others to attend coach education courses this winter.
The ‘Outstanding Contribution to Cricket Coaching Award’ was won by Raj Kanagaraj from Bessborough CC where he started in 2002 as the U10 Assistant Manager. He soon became Colts Chairman (continuing in this role ever since), and he has managed and coached all the age groups from U10 to U17. He has managed the Bessborough U17 Team for the last 10 years winning the MCA U17 League once, and he has helped other age groups from U10 to U15 to compete in and win MCA Leagues. Under his leadership, Bessborough has won the Victor Ludorum Trophy (most successful colts cricket club in Middlesex) three times in the last 15 years. Raj has also been involved with Middlesex borough cricket, managing the U12 Harrow Borough team for the last five years. Raj is heavily involved in the London Youth Games, managing the Harrow Borough boys team to great success over the past 10 years, and was awarded a certificate for ‘Service to Sport in the Community’ from the Mayor of Harrow in 2008. He was also presented with a medallion for managing Harrow Borough boys cricket team for more than 10 years by the London Youth Games. Raj’s leadership, commitment and contribution to cricket at Bessborough CC, in Harrow Borough and more widely in Middlesex make him a worthy winner of this prestigious award.
After the presentation of awards, Angus, Jono and Rory took part in a most interesting and wide-ranging discussion about coaching and the management of players. It was an inspiring part of the evening, and everyone appreciated the candour of the discussion and how the guests related what goes on at the top level to the environments in which most MCoA members coach. It was fabulous evening and a real privilege to share the success of Mark, Jim and Raj – the winners of the 2017 Middlesex Coaching Awards.