"Every club needs a Rach". So says Michelle Parker, whose clubmate Rachel Sheppard has been crowned LV= Club Hero in the 2023 Pride of Cricket Awards.
Rachel arrived at Coalpit Heath CC as a cricket mum, lured in by the promise of a Friday night barbecue after her son had caught the cricketing bug during a Chance to Shine session at school, but she quickly became an integral part of the day-to-day running of the club.
After being "strong-armed" into joining the women's team, she now serves as the captain, responsible for organising fixtures and festivals, and recently completed her level one coaching qualification.
She manages the social media accounts and takes an active role in recruiting new players – her flyer campaign ahead of the 2023 season brought in 15 new members. And she's even undertaken till training in order to work behind the bar.
"As the kids got more involved, I got more involved in helping out with [their] teams, starting the ladies up, and as you see what goes on, the opportunities and the enjoyment that everyone gets, you just get sucked in really. Someone needs to do it, so you find yourself volunteering. It's good fun," Rachel says.