PCA PRESS RELEASE
Seven PCA members have a chance of winning accolades to aid personal development.
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The PCA’s Futures Awards, in association with Lodders Solicitors, is returning for the 11th edition with seven PCA members aiming to win the accolades for their personal development away from the pitch.
The awards are split into three categories with Anuj Dal (Derbyshire) and Yash Vagadia (Yorkshire) named as finalists in the Academic Progression category. Tom Lace (Former Gloucestershire) and Ethan Bamber (Middlesex) for the Community Spirit award and completing the finalists in the Business Impact category are Ben Twohig (Former Worcestershire), Kiran Carlson (Glamorgan) and Steve Griffiths (Former Derbyshire).
For the third consecutive year, the Futures Awards in association with Lodders Solicitors will be held at the award winning law firm’s Cheltenham office on Tuesday 21 November. Following a thorough selection process from the PCA and Lodders, a longlist was whittled down to just seven candidates who will present their personal development progress to a panel of PCA and Lodders staff.
Four prizes will be on offer with one winner from each category decided by the panel based on the personal development commitments made by each individual and on the quality of their presentations. Category winners will receive a certificate and a £2,000 prize that is to be reinvested into their personal development.
An overall winner for 2023 will be chosen and awarded an additional £1,000 alongside a bespoke Mappin & Webb trophy. Each finalist will receive mentoring and advice on a professional area of their choice from a Lodders professional. Successful candidates will also share an IT package from PCA partners Lucidica which includes a website upgrade.
This year’s finalists will be looking to emulate the success of Tom Smith who picked up the overall award in 2022. The Gloucestershire player/coach impressed the panel for his selfless role in advocating for funding towards critical health cover for all professional cricketers in England and Wales.
Below is a brief summary of how each of this year’s Futures Awards finalists have been improving their personal development:
Anuj Dal (Derbyshire)
Having recently completed his Chartered Insurance Institute Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, the Derbyshire all-rounder is now working towards his master’s qualification in Advanced Financial Planning. The 27-year-old is currently working on building his own client portfolio for when he transitions out of the game. Dal is also growing his cricket coaching company, Purpose Cricket Coaching, which supports around 40 players and six clubs with services ranging from one-to-one sessions to delivering winter programmes for recreational clubs.
Yash Vagadia (Yorkshire)
Currently studying towards a Biology and Chemistry degree with Durham University, Vagadia has also been completing online work experience in law and will be applying for the Clifford Chance SPARK scheme (a summer internship used as a stepping stone to a training contract). Alongside this, the 19-year-old is tutoring a prospective medical student who has recently moved from Africa to the UK. Vagadia will be balancing his university work, mentoring and cricket over an exciting few years for the Yorkshire youngster.
Kiran Carlson (Glamorgan)
With a focus on developing mental skills within sport, Carlson and former Glamorgan player Steve Reingold have set up a business called Talking Mental Skills. The company has recently run three workshops for children aged 11-17 which include practical and classroom sessions, exploring topics such as fear of failure and confidence. The 25-year-old wants cricketers from grassroots level, all the way to international, to be better at understanding how good mental skills can benefit their life and their game.
Ben Twohig (Former Worcestershire)
Whilst undertaking a higher education degree in sports coaching, Twohig has set up his own coaching business, BT cricket academy, where he self-funded a website and employed coaches to work alongside himself throughout the 2023 summer. The 25-year-old battled depression during his playing days but believes that has made him a more empathetic coach. Twohig wants to expand the business during the winter months when venue hire can become expensive and increase the number of age groups that he delivers sessions to.
Steve Griffiths (Former Derbyshire and Somerset)
A passionate creative at heart, Griffiths has built a workshop in his garden where he has been working on a portfolio of upcycled furniture and large pieces of artwork using recycled materials. The former wicket-keeper wants to set up a business called ‘ACHUB’ (from the Welsh ‘to save or to rescue’) where he can produce bespoke upcycled furniture, brightly coloured pop art pieces, landscapes, posters and event celebratory artworks, all whilst promoting ecological thinking and ultimately leading to a ‘rubbish free world’.
Tom Lace (Former Gloucestershire, Middlesex and Derbyshire)
Working as a Marketing Executive intern at Sporting Chance, Lace took on a full-time volunteering role as an Athlete Engagement Lead following his retirement from the game in June. Since then the 25-year-old has delivered sessions on ‘lifestyle, behaviour and addiction’ and ‘emotional regulation’ to football club’s youth sections, including Brentford and Oxford United. The former wicket-keeper batter has also started his final year of a five-year Economics and Management course through the Open University.
Ethan Bamber (Middlesex)
Working with Opening Up Cricket as an ambassador, Bamber has been offering insight into the professional game, writing pieces and appearing in podcasts on the subject of mental health and wellbeing. The 24-year-old is completing a Leadership in Sport master’s degree with Loughborough University and has recently become an Educational Facilitator for Sporting Chance where he will be going into clubs to run sessions. Bamber wants to enable others in the game to be able to speak more freely about mental health.
The PCA Futures Awards in association with Lodders Solicitors celebrates personal development from the PCA membership past and present. The winners from each category and an overall winner will be announced Tuesday 28 November.
Find out more about the PCA Futures Awards in association with Lodders Solicitors, as well as the PCA’s wider Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP).