Glossop’s Richard Ball admits he is still getting used to the used to the new attention after his coaching efforts were recognised at a top national coaching awards.
Ball, head coach at Hadfield St Andrews Cricket Club, was up for the Gillette Community Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards, supported by Gillette, at Glasgow City Chambers.
And while he came up just short of the taking home the top prize, Ball still had plenty to smile about after seeing his efforts in promoting local cricket recognised at a national level.
This summer the 48-year-old level 2 ECB coach helped to deliver a structured coaching programme to develop the skills of younger players while also steering a young first XI in his role as captain.
Newham basketball coach Chris Facey was named as the Gillette Community Coach of the Year in Glasgow but Ball was just pinching himself at all the attention he has received.
“It came as a shock just to even be nominated but I was very pleased and it was a great evening,” he said. “I won the Derbyshire Community Coach of the Year this year and that was lovely.
“And then to get nominated for this was another great achievement this year. The junior section and how it has developed is something we are very proud of.
“I took on a role of trying to bring on the younger players. We have introduced a Friday night session and are helping to coach children aged four, five and six which is something we never had before.
“I really enjoy coaching; especially watching the young children come and play. It’s really great to watch the progression they make and how they become part of the club.”
Cricket is something that very much runs in Ball’s family with his grandfather having a hand in the founding of Hadfield St Andrews while his sons Alex and Cameron have both come through the club.
And, while coaching seems likely to eventually overtake playing duties, Ball – who was in the presence of The HRH Princess Royal in Glasgow – insists he will always be involved with the club.
“It’s a massive part of my life and I can’t envisage it not being,” he added. “We are a very young club at the minute but it bodes well for the future, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.”
“I’m hoping to advance my coaching qualifications, I’m working towards my coaching level 3 and I’m clinging on to playing myself and trying to convince myself to play for another year.”
Richard Ball was speaking at the UK Coaching Awards, supported by Gillette.