Business Eye: Leaders of tomorrow made by cricket club spirit

Alex Pratt
Alex Pratt

It is easy it forget that so much of our economy operates within community bodies that are not businesses, and that the outgoing Michael Gove seemed to have formed the view that our youngsters only learn when at school, the truth is that so much growth and development of our young people takes place elsewhere.

I was reminded of this at the weekend when popping down to the cricket ground in Wendover to cheer on the club junior award winners.

On show was the endearing British self-deprecation and humility of the speakers who, having helped shape the future of many young lives, were apologetic for not having got the communication perfect.

You can never get the communications right.

I was struck by the positive re-enforcing language used by all the coaches and managers in addressing the crowd of young talent, parents and grandparents. The talk was all of role models, leadership, teamwork, responsibility, enjoyment, competition and becoming outstanding.

Winning mattered of course, but it was the right attitudes which garnered the loudest applause.

There were awards for batting, bowling, the best all-rounders and the most improved players but the most poignant recognition was for a youngster judged to have embodied the ‘spirit of cricket’ taken as being all about responsibility and contribution.

You can’t help being impressed the depth and breadth of the effort expensed by the community playing together to make a club like this function.

Thanks were proffered and quietly accepted by volunteer coaches, managers, captains, scorers, umpires, tea makers, pitch rollers, fund raisers, bar staff, lift providers, kit sponsors etc.

Nothing worth having ever happens by mistake and rarely is it achieved alone.

Of course, for every cricket club there are football, hockey, chess, tennis, rugby, table tennis, swimming, golf and athletics clubs all ploughing similar courses, all looking to grow and develop our young people into more of who they can become, and all with club treasurers, secretaries sitting through endless meetings.

In the end it will be the attitude and application of every individual that determines their path in life, more so than any specific talent, and I suspect that the quiet development of leadership, fairness, honour and pride in a job well done this year will have done these youngsters a great service.