PEMBROKESHIRE CRICKET STALWART TO PICK UP LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD

After more than 40 years as a driving force of Welsh cricket, Nick Evans will receive the community lifetime achievement award at Wales Sport Awards 2016.

The 76 year-old from Narberth in Pembrokeshire has been credited as a pioneer of community coaching and for the development of the women’s game.

He will be recognised for his achievements in sport at the ceremony on Monday 5th December.

“People take the mickey that I still play and coach at my age,” he laughs. “But it keeps you young. I can still bowl, I’m still fit so why not? Being around young people rubs off on you doesn’t it? Though I do get a bit lost when they start talking about Facebook and iPads.”

Nick helped set up the Pembrokeshire Association of Cricket Coaches in 1979 and since then he has introduced thousands of young people to cricket.

They include current Glamorgan players Andrew Salter and Jack Murphy as well as Wales footballer Joe Allen and former rugby international Jonathan Thomas:

“It’s so rewarding to see players coming through, even if they don’t end up playing cricket. Joe Allen was always an amazing sportsman and he was a brilliant bowler and was good at keeping wicket. I used to pick him up and drop him off after practice and I remember the day he signed for Swansea.”

The 76-year-old still dedicates virtually all of his spare time to playing, coaching and administering cricket in Pembrokeshire. He is the Regional Manager and that means overseeing all the Managers and Coaches in the various age groups. In the 1980s and ‘90s, he was a pioneer for women’s cricket in Wales and is recognised by many for his groundbreaking work:

“I got women’s cricket going in Pembrokeshire in the 1980s and I was then invited to set up a Wales women’s side.”

Today, he is President and committee member of the Pembrokeshire Association of Cricket Coaches and coach to the Under 10 to Under 15 Pembrokeshire regional players (boys and girls).

Earlier this year, he was handed the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Cricket Wales Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards.

“I never would have thought I’d be collecting awards for doing something I love,” says Nick. “I never did it for those reasons. I’ve had so much enjoyment, meeting friends for life and travelling the world along the way.”

Nick is certainly a globetrotter, having enjoyed tours with South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, the Caribbean, South America and Sri Lanka.

“I’ve put a lifetime into cricket. But I have loved every minute.”

Nick’s achievements will be recognised at the Wales Sport Awards 2016 on Monday 5 December at Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, where he will share the stage with the night’s other big winners including Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and the prestigious BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

Fans can watch the Wales Sport Awards 2016 live from 7.30pm on Monday 5 December at bbc.co.uk/sportwales and also on BBC iPlayer and the Red Button. The event will also be live on BBC Radio Wales.

The Wales Sport Awards is an event, organised in partnership by BBC Wales and Sport Wales. It aims to recognise the best achievements at elite and community level in Welsh sport.

For more information visit walessportawards.org.uk

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