Congratulations to the worthy winners of the 2016 Middlesex Coaching Awards

On Thursday 24th November over sixty members of the Middlesex Coaches Association (MCoA) met to celebrate the achievements of Middlesex coaches at the 2016 Middlesex Coaching Awards presentation event.

Phil Smith won the ‘Young Coach of the Year Award’ for his excellent work at Eastcote CC where he has made a fundamental difference to the lives of many children, parents and their families. Phil has dedicated his Friday nights from April to August to coach children aged 4 to 6 years, and the children he coaches love every minute. Phil was presented with his award by Rory Coutts, Assistant Head of Middlesex Youth Cricket.

Phil Smith of Eastcote CC receives his award from Rory Coutts

The ‘Coach of the Year Award’ was presented to Khushali Patel by Richard Scott, the MCCC Head Coach. Khushali has had a wonderful year coaching in several environments but she has voluntarily coached the Harrow Alliance girls, giving up many hours of her free time and expertise to do so. She successfully led the girls to finals day of the London Youth Games at Lord’s this year, as well as coming second in the SEAXE Middlesex Girls League. This summer, she also took a squad of girls to Arundel for a Capital Kids Festival where children of all abilities were welcomed and given coaching in a fun environment.

Khushali Patel is presented with her award by Richard Scott

During the presentation ceremony, the MCoA Chairman, Rod Croucher, paid tribute to Mehdi Karachiwalla, a long-standing and enthusiastic MCoA member, who sadly passed away in August after a day doing what he loved – coaching cricket to young people at Radlett CC. He was a great coach and a wonderful man.

The 2016 ‘Outstanding Contribution to Cricket Coaching Award’ was presented to Jay Patel from Harrow St Mary’s CC by Harry Latchman (President of MCCC). Jay is a well-known and highly respected coach who, over his 17 years of coaching, has encouraged, guided, developed and supported hundreds of players. He has coached youth teams to success in ECB national competitions and in county cup competitions. But, for Jay, winning trophies is not everything in cricket and he believes you cannot be successful without winning the trust of your players and families. He always has a smile on his face when coaching, is always inclusive and ensures all players, regardless of ability, get an opportunity to shine and take part – and always have fun.

Harry Latchman presents Jay Patel of Harrow St Mary's CC with his award

After the presentation of awards, Rory, Richard and Harry took part in a most interesting panel discussion. Richard and Harry talked about what winning the 2016 County Championship meant for the county club, and Richard gave some fabulous insights into preparing the county team for the run-in to the final match. Rory and Richard described the preparation of players for the 2017 season, and how they were running their winter training programmes. But the discussion was not just about coaching in the professional ranks, and there were some great contributions from MCoA members keen to talk about the broader issues of coaching in the county.

This was a great evening of celebration of cricket coaching in Middlesex, and MCoA members were very grateful to Rory, Richard and Harry, for their contributions to a most successful and enjoyable evening.