A GWYNEDD cricket coach recently met up with Aussie bowling great Shane Warne, as she was honoured with a national coaching accolade.
Nicola Williams, from Bethesda, was presented with a Coach of the Year award at lunch during the second day of England’s second test against South Africa at Headingley.
Nicola, 42, was appointed Cricket Wales Community Coach for North Gwynedd and Anglesey in March 2011, which involves visting schools to encourage pupils of all ages to develop their cricket skills.
Besides working closely with Bangor, Bodedern and Bethesda cricket clubs, Nicola has also been responsible for establishing under 11’s and 13’s girls sides for the Eryri region.
Nicola said: “It’s worked really well and the kids have loved it. Cricket is something different to girls especially, and everyone has really enjoyed themselves.
“It was difficult to begin with, with the girls, but it’s been a huge success and so rewarding.”
After a successful first 18 months in the job, Nicola was chosen by the County Coaches Asocciation as a Sky Sports Coach Award winner, a reard scheme for people who have made a significant contribution to development of coaching in the sport.
Nicola was invited as a VIP to the second test during England’s recent test series versus South Africa at Headingley, where she was presented with her award pitchside by the man they call the ‘King of Spin’.
“It was just brilliant, he’s one of my heroes and one of the best bowelrs ever,” Nicola said.
“It was a pretty overwheming experience, but he was so down to earth and had a lot of time for us.
“It’s not so much about awards for me, I’d probably rather have been on the field with the kids.”