Daggett, Rees and Wallace Receive the First Ever PCA Personal Development Scholarship Awards – 15/01/14
Inaugural award aims to find the PCA member who has excelled within their personal development. High standard of entries results in three County stalwarts receiving awards, and eight new Personal Development Ambassador roles created.
The PCA and ECB have a robust programme in place for personal development and welfare (Personal Development and Welfare Programme – PDWP) and recognises that developing yourself whilst playing can have multiple benefits; including increased emotional well-being and, most importantly, improved performance on the pitch.
25 members, both past and present, applied for the Personal Development Scholarship Award, which was based on several key criteria:
- Working towards or obtaining high education qualifications
- Continued personal development in cricket, away from the player's County
- Undertaking of charity and community work
- Undertaking of work placement opportunities
- Taking on extra responsibilities within or outside the player's normal work environment.
The 25 entries were whittled to just eight; Mark Wallace, Steven Crook, Elliot Wilson, Arun Harinath, Lee Daggett, Gareth Rees, Matthew Boyce, Maurice Holmes. Those selected were asked to present to a panel of three judges (Angus Porter, PCA CEO; Jason Ratcliffe, PCA Assistant CEO and Ian Thomas, National Manager, PDWP) on the benefits of the Personal Development and Welfare Programme. Wallace, Rees and Daggett couldn’t be separated thanks to their enormous development efforts throughout the year, and will all receive £2,000 towards ongoing personal development commitments.
All eight finalists will be awarded the first ever titles of Personal Development and Welfare Ambassadors; it is hoped that they will continue to encourage and convey the benefits of planning and commitment in personal development to other players, whether playing cricket, or in careers beyond.
Mark Wallace not only played and captained every game of the season for Glamorgan CCC; he also finished an MA in Sport, Culture and Society, started the ECB Level 3 Coaching Qualification, completed his benefit year, carried the responsibilities that go with being PCA Chairman, rode the PCA/Tom Maynard Trust (TMT) Big Bike Ride, individually raising £1,500, and made several presentations to academies and Welsh U17 rugby squads.
Gareth Rees, on top of his professional cricketing commitments at Glamorgan CCC, travelled to Sri Lanka and Australia on batting camps, took on work experience placements at Goldman Sachs in London, embarked on an MBA and got married in September.
Lee Daggett went above and beyond his cricketing commitments with Northamptonshire CCC, by being part of the successful FLt20 winning team, finishing his physiotherapy qualifications, undertaking a winter work placement at Northampton Saints RFC and riding the PCA/TMT Big Bike Ride – organising a substantial medical network support along the route and individually raising £1,500.
Special praise goes to Maurice Holmes. After being released in testing circumstances by Warwickshire CCC for an illegal bowling action in 2011, he found it difficult to continue as a professional cricketer; however, he won a scholarship for a fast-track Law Degree, which will see him qualify in two years as opposed to three. His application and presentation were outstanding and the PCA will utilise him for their County pre-season meetings to emphasise the importance of planning ahead.
Wallace said, "I'm thrilled to bits. You don't realise how much you take on sometimes and upon reflection, I’ve had a pretty big year! I certainly believe that working on other things makes a massive difference to your focus, attitude and performance on the pitch."
Daggett added, "There's no doubt that planning forward alongside my cricket commitments has helped my game and, equally importantly, made me ready for the remaining 40 years of working life! I've had a great time as a professional and have now moved seamlessly into the next phase of my life."
Rees continued, "I'm really honoured. There's plenty of time to do other stuff without it affecting our main cricketing commitments. Many waste the time they have, but it's so important to make use of it and be ready for a smooth transition when it's time to hang up your boots! It allows me to have a 'no fear' attitude to my cricket, which I'm convinced has made me a better player."
Jason Ratcliffe, commented, “The Personal Development Scholarship Award has been a fantastic new initiative. Not only have we seen a good number of applications, which represent the growing culture of proactivity in cricket for personal development; but it’s also given new opportunities in some cases for first-ever interview and presentation experience.
Over a 12-month period, 74% of current County cricketers have started a personal development plan; emphasising the growing acceptance of the importance of planning and preparation in this area. We’re grateful to the many County coaches who recognise the benefits of personal development and create flexibility around cricketing commitments.”
For more information on the Personal Development Scholarship, please click here.