PCA PRESS RELEASE
Yorkshire all-rounder, Griffiths and Bamber collect PCA Futures Awards accolades.
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The winner of the 2023 PCA Futures Awards, in association with Lodders Solicitors, is Yorkshire’s Yash Vagadia, who takes the sought-after accolade after impressing the panel with his recent off-field accomplishments.
The 19-year-old claimed the victory in the Academic Progression category alongside being named the outstanding candidate of the process. The Yorkshire batting all-rounder receives £3,000 to aid his personal development, thanks to Lodders.
Former Derbyshire wicketkeeper Steve Griffiths took the prize in the Business Impact category with Middlesex’s Ethan Bamber claiming the award for Community Spirit, with both players receiving £2,000.
The standard from this year’s finalists was extremely high as the panel saw PCA Vice Chair Anuj Dal alongside Vagadia in the Academic progression category. Ben Twohig and Kiran Carlson joined Griffiths in the Business Impact category and Tom Lace and Bamber completed the impressive list.
The PCA Futures Awards, which are part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP), encourages candidates to apply with detailed information of what they have been doing away from the game. A list of finalists are then invited to deliver a presentation followed by a question and answer session based on their personal development.
The event aims to highlight the very best examples of personal development amongst the PCA membership and help those winners towards their future ambitions.
For the third year in succession, the PCA Futures Awards were held in association with Lodders Solicitors, at the law firm’s Cheltenham office. The judges had the difficult task of picking the winners from each category and an overall prize from the seven finalists.
Finalists presented in person and via video link to the panel, with the decision makers then sharing an IT package of support from PCA partner Lucidica to those who had specific needs.
The panel, made up of Lodders Managing Partner, Paul Mourton, PCA Non Executive Director Caroline Artis and PCA Head of Cricket Operations, Rich Hudson, were extremely impressed by the aptitude of the finalists.
Overall and Academic Progression
Yash Vagadia (Yorkshire)
Overall winner Vagadia impressed the judges with the sheer amount of personal development activities that he’s completed in the last year. The 19-year-old also won the Academic Progression award for the work he has been doing towards his Biology and Chemistry degree at Durham University, whilst applying for law training contracts and mentoring prospective medical students. The Newcastle-born youngster is keen to invest his winnings back into his education.
PCA Futures Awards Overall and Academic Progression winner, Yash Vagadia, said: “I saw that Tom Smith won it last year and felt that I should apply. I’ve been doing lots in the last 12 months alongside my degree with the cricket, law applications and tutoring other students as well as some coaching on the side.
“To find out that I’d won was very surprising, it was one of the best feelings ever, I was really grateful to receive the reward and it shows that I’ve done some good work over the last 12 months.
“It’s great that the PCA supports all sorts of personal development because cricket isn’t there for our whole lives. I’m so glad I applied, it was a great process and I’m really appreciative of the support from Lodders.”
Steve Griffiths (Derbyshire)
The former Derbyshire wicketkeeper captivated the panel with his portfolio of upcycled furniture and artworks using recycled materials. The 50-year-old is setting up his business called ‘ACHUB’ (from the Welsh language meaning ‘to save or to rescue) where he wants to continue producing artworks whilst promoting ecological thinking and ultimately leading to a rubbish free world. Griffiths is looking to upgrade his tools and invest in more storage for the company and says the injection of cash will make a huge difference.
PCA Futures Awards Business Impact winner, Steve Griffiths, said: “The business is a culmination of many years of work and I’ve always been fascinated by collecting old stuff and giving it a new life by upcycling, that’s what drives me on. We can’t just keep wasting things, there shouldn’t be anything that is rubbish everything should have another use.
“It’s a while since I’ve been a professional and it was lovely being able to share the passion I have for this, the experts from Lodders were fantastic and gave me some great advice.
“The PCA support is amazing, it’s humbling to know that the PCA are looking after former players. The Futures Awards has been extraordinary.”
Ethan Bamber (Middlesex)
Bamber caught the eye of the judges with the work he’s been doing for Opening Up Cricket and working as an Educational Facilitator for Sporting Chance enabling mental wellbeing conversations. The 24-year-old has also been completing a Leadership in Sport master’s degree with Loughborough University. The Middlesex bowler wants to enable others in the game to speak opening about mental health and is looking to spend the money to support his university course.
PCA Futures Awards Community Spirit winner, Ethan Bamber, said: “I feel very fortunate to be able to share my story and I hope that I can drive more change around mental health conversations.
“It was a real privilege to talk to the Lodders staff because they’re so knowledgeable and they gave me some really helpful tips.
“People are aware of Sporting Chance’s helpline through the Professional Cricketers’ Trust and I would say to people there is always light at the end of the tunnel if they’re struggling because I know what that’s like.
“The Awards have been phenomenal and we’re so lucky to have the support of the PCA and Lodders.”
PCA Head of Cricket Operations, Rich Hudson, said: “We’ve had seven brilliant candidates present to the panel which is a great opportunity for them to tell us about the projects that they’re passionate about, they were very inspiring. They’ve also sat down with the Lodders professionals to talk about how to develop and improve their ideas.
“Lodders’ support is fantastic, the day provides a great opportunity for the players to explore out of their comfort zones and into a professional environment. Lodders are great at helping the players grow their personal development.”
Lodders Solicitors Managing Partner, Paul Mourton, said: “It’s a great initiative for the firm to be involved in, supporting players with their personal development.
“It’s been really enjoyable working with Caroline and Rich today from the PCA, we saw a full spectrum of presentations today that were very impressive.
“The three winners were very well deserved, we put a lot of time and effort into the Futures Awards and we’re delighted that the players and the PCA have enjoyed it.”
Find out more about the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP).