They were the team behind the team that ensured Nelson’s Saxton Oval was a success as a Cricket World Cup and one-day international venue.
Now their enthusiasm, energy and assistance are needed again when the Black Caps take on Sri Lanka this summer.
So far 40 people have volunteered to help out during the one-dayers on December 31 and January 2, but Nelson Cricket Association and Sport Tasman need another 20 to assist with car parking, ushering and spectator support.
Many of those who have put up their hand were part of the World Cup and its build-up and are keen to be involved again.
They include Tony Watkins, the general manager of an advertising company in Stoke and a NZ Masters team cricketer.
Tony worked as a team leader before and during the World Cup doing everything from car parking, picking up rubbish to helping out with the catering.
“It was really enjoyable. I worked with a great group of people and we were well looked after. The weather was fantastic, the games were close and I think everybody including the players enjoyed it.
“I’ve played cricket for many, many years and at premier level so I realise you need volunteers to make these things work. To get internationals to Nelson you have got to pitch in to make it a successful day. For me it’s about bringing the sport to the region for the kids and the community.’’
Tony urges others to volunteer. ” It’s a great day out, you get to watch a bit of cricket, you’re part of the atmosphere which is fantastic and you’re helping people.’’
Sport Tasman’s Hayden Bryant says with only two full time staff, Nelson Cricket relied on the support of volunteers to run such international events, which would otherwise be difficult and very expensive to host for a smaller centre like Nelson.
“It means we have to work a little harder to get and keep such events.”
Nelson Cricket general manager Richard Hayward says the volunteers’ efforts before and during the World Cup helped make Saxton Oval a desirable venue for New Zealand Cricket and were a factor in Nelson being allocated the two Sri Lankan matches this summer.
“They played a major part in the smooth running of all four games last summer and their enthusiasm certainly helped make it an enjoyable experience for the public and added to the carnival atmosphere.’’
Hayden says those volunteering for the Sir Lankan games will receive a shirt, lunch and the chance to watch some of the cricket during the day.
For more information contact [email protected] or ring 546 7910.