sportscotland COV awards: Stephen Sutton of Braes cricket club receives Volunteer accolade
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Stephen Sutton has been recognised as Volunteer of the Year at the 2023 sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering (COV) Awards for his "exceptional and selfless” contribution to Westquarter and Redding Cricket Club.
He has been at the heart of building up the club in the Braes and wider Falkirk area, which as well as getting more people involved in cricket, also saw the Bailliefields Community Hub launched.
Stephen’s efforts included enabling people from low-income backgrounds, promotion and inclusion of women and girls’ cricket, and providing opportunities for people with disabilities; dedicating much of his time to ensure that everyone has opportunities to play cricket.
Through the local club, Stephen has helped establish curriculum time for cricket sessions across Falkirk primary schools, all delivered at no cost to schools. Providing opportunities such as these have shown Stephen’s true dedication and passion for the sport and has helped so many more children and young people participate in the sport of cricket.
As well as all his countless hours of volunteering, Stephen has led on the clubs fundraising, where they have raised over £500,000 for a facility upgrade programme. The number of hours that he has dedicated covering admin, logistics, training, equipment etc, just to create a welcoming environment for all, has been inspiring for so many in the local community.
Stephen said: “I have been part of this club for nearly 40 years and it’s the inclusiveness and the team sport element, as well as the individual side of things that I love so much. It’s very inclusive and multicultural, we have a very diverse membership and the disability section that’s running now, means that there is something for everyone.
“Once many young people leave school, particularly those with additional support needs, there is less and less for them to do. Clubs and activities like these are about changing their perception that they can go and do these things if they want to.”
Mel Young, chair of sportscotland, said: “Every year the Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards provide us with the opportunity to celebrate people across the country who have given so much of their time and dedication to Scottish sport and are making such an impact on their sport and community.
“Over the course of the last year, we have seen thousands of sporting enthusiasts who give up hours and hours of their own daily lives, to make a difference in sport and physical activity and who have an understanding what an impact that can have on people’s lives. The people we are celebrating have taken that recognition and turned it into life-changing ambition and force for good.”
There were 371 nominations covering 35 different sports across all 32 local authorities received by sportscotland.
Stephen and the other winners in the sportscotland COV Awards which celebrate all those who break down barriers, inspire and enhance the lives of others through sport, received their awards at a ceremony in Glasgow City Chambers last night (Thursday).