Thom named Coach of the Year

August 03 2018

DOWNEND Cricket Club’s Thom Manning has been named Gloucestershire’s Coach of the Year for 2018.

Thom won the ECB award for running the county’s biggest All Stars Cricket programme and for his work with cricket development and HIV/AIDS awareness charity Cricket Without Boundaries.

Nominating him, Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) community coach Pete Lamb said: "Thom is someone with a real passion for coaching and sharing his love of the game.  His positive manner and enthusiasm is infectious and he ensures every new player to the game leaves wanting more.”

As lead-activator of Downend’s All Stars programme, Thom has played a part in every aspect of the scheme from promotion and administration to coaching and supporting fellow activators. 

The club had about 100 children sign up in 2017 and a similar number this year ,making it one of the best attended All Stars sessions in the country. 

Thom has also helped support the transition of junior members into adult cricket while playing in Downend’s 4th XI.

Thom went on his first CWB trip to Cameroon in 2014 and has now been on four projects in total. During those trips teams of volunteers from the UK coach in schools and use cricket as a tool to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, gender equality and social cohesion.

Thom said: "I was absolutely stunned to win the award, it was a huge surprise. I love cricket, watching, playing but particularly coaching and how a simple set of skills can bring people together and be used to break down social barriers. Whether I am on a CWB project or running an All Stars session at Downend I just try to share my enthusiasm and hope to spark the same passion that I have in others."

Thom will receive his award on the pitch during England’s Test match with India at the Ageas Bowl at the end of August when he will be a guest of the ECB.