by Mike Berriman
The tireless efforts of a chairman of a local cricket club have been celebrated by the Leeds Sports Awards.
Dennis Nicholson, 66, Southleigh Road, Beeston, was presented with the award for Outstanding Service to Sport in a ceremony at New Dock Hall, Clarence Dock on Thursday night.
Dennis, who has two children and eight grandchildren, has been involved with East Leeds CC for more than 40 years: “I started off organising the weekly quiz and then six years ago I was made chairman because I was the only person prepared to unblock the ladies’ toilets.
“I sort out the entertainment for charity events, discos and I also carry out general repairs around the club.
“It is a team effort. We rely on volunteers.”
The hard working chairman is currently leading a drive to bring more youngsters to the club on Pontefract Road
He added: “The junior side of the club is really important to us. We are hoping to get a youth team together this year and we will be running a cricket camp over the Easter holidays.
“We are also providing evening coaching sessions at Victoria, St Patrick’s and Ebor Primary Schools. We are a family club. We have a children’s play area and in the summer we have bouncy castles. The whole club is fenced off so it is a safe place for children to play.”
James Watling, 32, first team captain at the club in Cross Green, nominated Dennis for the award: “Dennis is brilliant, without Dennis we wouldn’t have a club.”
James has been at the club for 21 years and he has seen at first-hand the invaluable work of his chairman: “He never asks for thanks, he just gets on with it.
“He is constantly putting on free events for the local community. If there is an event starting at 8 o’clock, he will be there at 6 and he won’t leave until everyone has left.”
Here’s what Dennis had to say about his honour:
Any youngsters interested in getting involved in cricket are urged to contact East Leeds CC on 0113 248 6323, or you can visit their website at www.eastleedscc.co.uk for more information.