Volunteers Week 2023: Celebrating key individuals across the game

Volunteers Week 2023 celebrates the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

Join us by recognising the fantastic contribution volunteers make at your club, league or association this week by saying “thank you”.

It is only right, that we take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful volunteers across Gloucestershire whose selfless efforts make cricket happen across our clubs, leagues and associations.

The amazing amount of time and effort that you give to the game of cricket in Gloucestershire allows thousands of people to pick up a bat and ball every season.  We hope you recognise the impact you have on others, as it is an achievement you can be incredibly proud of.  Please keep up the fantastic work that makes such a huge difference to people across the county.  Thank you.

For more information about the week nationally, check out the Volunteers Week Website.


Volunteers are the heartbeat of recreational cricket in Gloucestershire and without them, the game simply would not survive.  Contrary to what some may think, it is not paid individuals, but ‘volunteers’ who run our clubs, leagues and associations across the county.

Volunteering is critical for cricket, but it is mutually beneficial for those volunteering too and has been shown to improve volunteers’ wellbeing.  After all, it’s human nature to feel good after helping out and can help individuals gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost confidence.

Have you considered volunteering?

People choose to volunteer in cricket for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the club and community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on and use existing experience and knowledge to make a difference.

If volunteering is of interest to you, please express your interest by completing the short form and tell us how you would like to be involved.  We will be in touch to help you find volunteering opportunities local to you.

Kiera Woodcock Quote

Kiera Woodcock / Cirencester CC / Young Volunteer

Cricket has been in Kiera’s life ever since she can remember and has been at Cirencester CC since birth due to her father and older brother playing their cricket there.  Kiera started playing the game from age 4, began Women’s Cricket aged 12, winning the Women and Girl’s Bowling Award for her club in 2019.

Kiera loves playing her cricket at Cirencester CC saying:

“The people make my club the most special place.  They are so supportive of everything and are good at encouraging the younger players to move up, develop their game, and aspire to be as good as them.”

Despite Kiera’s tender years, she is one of the few who have had the privilege to play at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s Cricket Ground.  In September 2021, Kiera made cricketing history as part of the MCC Hub, playing in the first ever girls hard ball game to be played on the main square.  As Kiera says, “This opportunity was one of the best of my life.”

Cricket has given Kiera more than a game to play and club where she feels valued.  Cricket has also helped her grow in confidence and develop as a young person by socialising with different and new people.  Coming out of lockdown, the structures of cricket were integral for Kiera in helping her get back on her feet and adjust back into life.

Now Kiera is studying for her GCSEs, and still manages to fit in volunteering for her beloved club running the All Stars and Dynamos sessions.  In 2022 Kiera won the Rising Star of the Year Award for Gloucestershire for all her work with All Stars and Dynamos, which she has carried on this year.

Kiera creates fun session plans for over 160 children across both programmes, sending them out to around 30 Activators and coaches of varying ages between 12 – 60.  Kiera finds it highly rewarding being part of a team who develop children into amazing young cricketers and helping to promote the junior section of the club.  Kiera is always at the ground 3 hours before every All Stars and Dynamos session setting everything up and most importantly, getting the Boom Box ready so everyone can enjoy their tunes, creating a space where children and young people can learn to play cricket in a fun, welcoming, and safe environment.

Like the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation, Kiera believes cricket is a game for all saying:

“At Cirencester CC, we also like to promote cricket to girls and get as many as we can, which is helped by a female being the Head Coach and having several female Activators.  We are totally inclusive by accommodating for children with mental and physical disabilities by allocating 1-1 coaching where it’s appropriate to provide cricket for everyone.”

Cricket has been such an important part of Kiera’s life building her confidence, developing her into the person she now is, and supporting her mental wellbeing and she wants to give back to the place that is the epicentre of it all for her, Cirencester CC.

“I love volunteering because seeing my hard work have a positive impact on people is so rewarding.  I love seeing my plans in place which means children are having endless fun which encourages them to come back for more week after week.  It’s so uplifting helping kids develop, becoming better cricketers, and having fun.”

After her GCSEs, Kiera plans to study Childcare and go onto train as a Primary School Teacher, teaching children the same age as those who take part in her All Stars and Dynamos sessions.  She is adamant the skills she has learnt volunteering as a coach at Cirencester CC have given her the confidence and belief she can achieve her ambitions.

From Kiera’s point of view, anyone who is a member of a cricket club should volunteer.

“I would 100% recommend volunteering to everyone.  Not only does it help your club and support your local community, but it is one of the most rewarding things ever and gives you a massive confidence boost.  You can volunteer in different ways at any age, young and old, and make a difference to your club because any volunteering will be a massive help.”

Ryan Walker

Ryan Walker / Cotswold Girls Hub / U13 County Girls Coach

Ryan loves the Great Outdoors, whether it’s pottering around in the allotment, hiking up mountains, or taking his two young children tree trekking.  Anything that gets him away from the laptop, but it’s being outside involved in cricket that Ryan relishes the most.

Ryan’s first experience of cricket would have been at school, when he was 7 or 8 years old, at a Kwik Cricket festival against other local schools, where everyone in the team had the opportunity to bat, bowl, keep wicket, and field – so there was something for everyone.

Over the last 10 years, Ryan has dedicated his time in cricket to transform the Women and Girls’ game and is driven to make the wonderful game of cricket as accessible for everyone.  Ryan says:

“Cricket has the ability to bring people together, no matter their race, religion, gender, or occupation; it defies all differences, and enables us to all share a common passion.”

As part of Ryan’s drive to transform the Women and Girls’ game, he volunteers at the Cotswold Hub where they bring together women and girls from across the county who may not have the opportunity to play Women and Girls’ Cricket at their parent club.  It provides players with an opportunity to train with and play against their peers.  The purpose of the Cotswold Hub is creating a positive learning environment that helps develop the person as well as the player.  Ryan says of the Cotswold Hub:

“It’s a special place because it not only provides a safe space for the players to train together and develop their cricketing skills, but it also helps the players to develop life-long skills, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, and resilience.”

The range of responsibilities Ryan has volunteering in Women and Girls’ Cricket in Gloucestershire showcases his dedication to growing the game.  As Head Coach of the Cotswold Hub he plans weekly training sessions, and he also umpires or scores for matches.  As Team Manager and Coach for the Gloucestershire U13 Girls Performance Squad Ryan is liaising with internal and external County Age Group pathway coaches.  On top of all that, Ryan is also Secretary of the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation Women and Girls’ League where he responds to league enquiries to ensure competitions run smoothly.

What is it about volunteering that Ryan likes so much?

“Volunteering is a hugely rewarding experience and it helps provide me with a sense of purpose.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet and learn from many wonderful people over the years.  Volunteering in sport is a great way to make new friends and develop new skills.”

Ryan gets so much reward encouraging and helping others to seek new experiences and achieve their own goals and 100% recommends anyone to volunteer in cricket.

“Society tends to think of volunteering as something people do for the benefit of others.  It’s always been those taking part that everyone focuses on.  However, there are so many benefits for the individual too.  It doesn’t matter how much or how little time you can commit to volunteering, there’s almost certainly something you can get involved with at your local club, so give it a go! You’ve got nothing to lose, and potentially a lot to gain.”

Phil Mattingley

Phil Mattingley / Gloucestershire Association of Cricket Officials (GACO) / Chair

When asked “What is it about cricket that has kept you in the game?”, Phil’s answer is concise: “Love of the game entirely.”

Phil is Chair of the Gloucestershire Association of Cricket Officials (GACO) overseeing all aspects of recreational officialdom, where he is supported by an amazing, committed, and hardworking committee that are backed up by an enthusiastic membership.

He is also part of a tutoring team led by both the Education and Development Officers who train new recruits through the current Level 1 and Level 2 Umpire courses.  He also leads tutoring on club led introductory courses for players looking to officiate for their 10 over slots on a Saturday or Sunday.  On top of that, Phil forms a troupe of experienced officials that divide the active Umpires into groups who they talk to, meet up with, encourage, and aid with development at a time and pace which suits them and for the 2023 season, Phil is mentoring the Tier 3 WEPL Umpires.

“Being an Umpire, you are 100% involved in every ball of the game and every other over you have the best seat in the house.  You are always meeting new colleagues, visiting new grounds, and building a rapport with clubs.”

At the age of 17, Phil took the old ACU&S Umpire course and exam, four years after he started his cricketing career in Oxfordshire.  Gloucestershire have his wife to thank for his move to our wonderful county where he joined the local village cricket club where he played for 27 seasons, with 25 of them as Fixture Secretary and having several spells as league and/or Sunday Captain.  Once his son began playing his cricket at Redmarley CC, Phil decided to retire from playing to take up umpiring ‘properly’, a decision he has never regretted.  For Phil, it’s being part of GACO that makes cricket so special for him.

“GACO is full of willing volunteers who all give up an inordinate amount of time to progress recreational cricket for the benefit of everyone involved.  We are like another close-knit family.”

Phil is an avid sports lover, but cricket is his passion that not only offers the highs and lows of friendly competition, but also provides a camaraderie no other sport can provide.  Cricket has given Phil so much enjoyment over his lifetime that he wants to give something back.

“I enjoy the social side but also the ‘responsibility’ side.  My aim since taking on the Chair of GACO was to increase numbers, but equally as important is retention of numbers and so far, this is proving successful on both counts.”

For Phil, recreational cricket is the lifeblood of several communities but without masses of volunteers, it wouldn’t happen.

“I would actively encourage people to get involved and volunteer at clubs or associations because the benefits are huge to all and socially it’s a great thing to be involved in.”

Ed Martin

Ed Martin / Quedgeley & Hardwicke CC / Groundsperson

Cricket is an all-year-round venture for Ed.  If he’s not at work selling cricket tours, he can easily be found at Quedgeley & Hardwicke CC making sure the pitches are in the best condition for all their fixtures held at Kingsway as Head Groundsperson.  If that wasn’t enough, Ed is also Fixture Secretary ensuring there are no clashes so the club can maximise the season so members and oppositions can enjoy the game we all love thanks to his efforts.  To top it off, when players are celebrating or trying to forget the events on the other side of the boundary rope, Ed is there serving the drinks from the container bar, supported by his partner Amy and his mum Janice, who is the club Chairperson.

Ed says:

“I don’t think there is a much better way to spend your Saturday, than playing cricket on a lovely summer’s day.  I get a sense of fulfilment from seeing my hard work help to put smiles on faces, whether that be under 9s through to our 1st XI.”

Ed started playing cricket at age 9 because a school friend did, and it has gone from there. He made his senior debut at the age of 13, and the club gave him the responsibility to Captain the 2nd XI at the tender age of 16 and now he’s Mr QHCC!  Being appointed the second eleven captain made a huge impression on Ed who said about it:

“I love my club and I want it to progress. It showed faith in me at 16 by making me 2nd XI Captain which taught me a lot, and I am now repaying that by helping the club to grow.”

It’s clear Ed is devoted to his cricket club, and he says the best thing about it are the people and its members who have made every effort to make their club feel like a community.  This has clearly paid off as in 2021 there were 2 teams, and the club has grown to fielding 4 teams each weekend and in Ed’s words “We must be doing something right.”  For Ed, there is nothing better for him than on a Saturday night, all 4 teams coming back to the club to have a drink together with him serving the drinks from the club’s container bar.

Ed highly recommends people to volunteer for their cricket club and offers his top three reasons why:

  1. You’re helping your friends out, why wouldn’t you?
  2. You get a great sense of fulfilment knowing that what you’ve done has created good moments for others.
  3. Without volunteers within grassroots sport, clubs can’t reach their potential.
Women & Girls Committee

Women & Girls Committee

The Women and Girls’ game in Gloucestershire is growing at a rapid rate, and that is no coincidence.  It is due to the belief in the game from cricket clubs across the county that offer Women’s Teams, run Girls’ Sections, and provide Girls only Dynamos, headed up by a group of dedicated volunteers who form the Women and Girls’ Committee.

The Women and Girls’ Committee is, Jim Donaldson, Steve Forecast, Deb Cox, Naomi Forecast, Ryan Walker, Paul Maggs, Kare Le’Marquand, and Rich Cooper and between them they take the responsibility of managing over 90 Women’s teams and 57 Girls’ teams.

One of the main responsibilities of the Women and Girls’ Committee is to arrange all Women and Girls’ League fixtures across our cricketing region in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, and the City of Bristol.  In 2021 there were 217 fixtures, which in 2023 has more than doubled to over 530, due to the drive of the Committee.

The Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation’s competition offer within the county reflects the growth of the female game, where the Committee is responsible to create a successful league structure that fits with the needs and requirements of the club network.  In 2023, for the Women’s Game, there are seven indoor winter leagues placed geographically across the county.  Our summer offer has expanded since 2022.  There are now seven softball leagues, two T20 hardball leagues, a 35 over Premier League, Softball 100 Cup, and a Hardball 100 Cup, all thanks to time and work given by this amazing group of volunteers.  There are also all the Girls’ Leagues which the Committee also organise which include: U9 100 ball Dynamos, U11, U13, hard and soft ball leagues, and U15 hard ball league.  The Women and Girls’ Committee are committed in ensuring a seamless playing schedule is completed across all competitions.

With all these fixtures in place, it is essential each fixture is played within the Spirit of the Game and all the details of every fixture is uploaded to PlayCricket.  The Committee have the responsibility of monitoring the information on the website, making sure it is up to date, along with managing arbitration around league conflicts, should they arise.

The work of this passionate group of volunteers, with support from the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation, has seen a 147% increase in the number of fixtures played in the Gloucestershire Women and Girls’ game since the summer season in 2021 throughout Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, and the City of Bristol, and a 157% increase in the number of Women’s teams participating in our leagues.

That is just a small insight into what this enthusiastic group of volunteers do to make sure the Women and Girls’ game runs as smoothly as it can, while offering room to grow and provide more opportunities for people to get involved in the game.  

Have you considered volunteering?

People choose to volunteer in cricket for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the club and community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on and use existing experience and knowledge to make a difference.

If volunteering is of interest to you, please express your interest by completing the short form and tell us how you would like to be involved.  We will be in touch to help you find volunteering opportunities local to you.

Sign up to the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation newsletter