RAINFORD cricketer Ellie Threlkeld has won a sought-after personal development prize after impressing the judges with her recent off-field accomplishments.

The Professional Cricketers' Association's (PCA) Futures Awards, which are part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP), encourage candidates to apply with detailed information of what they have been doing away from the game.

A list of finalists are then invited to deliver a presentation followed by a question and answer session based on their personal development.

The event aims to highlight the very best examples of personal development amongst the PCA membership and help those winners towards their future ambitions.

For the second year in succession, the PCA Futures Awards were held in association with Lodders Solicitors, at the law firm’s Cheltenham office. The judges had the difficult task of picking the winners from each category and an overall prize from the seven finalists, who had been whittled down from 23.

Threlkeld won the Academic Progression category having recently completed a Master’s qualification in Sports Psychology as well as the Level 3 Advanced Cricket Coaching Award working with the Thunder Academy and Lancashire age group teams.

She wins £2,000 to go towards her off-field aspirations.

The 24-year-old, the judges felt, was clearly very passionate about psychology and how it helped her leadership credentials as Thunder captain and how it could help other players in the game. 

Threlkeld, said: “I’ve loved today, I’ve learned a lot and it’s put me out of my comfort zone presenting in front of people which will help me in the long-run.

"Psychology is something that I’m passionate about and something that I enjoy and I see it as a big part of my long term future.

“The Futures Awards have exceeded all my expectations, it’s very rewarding for us players that are doing things outside of cricket knowing that there is this prize available. The partnership between Lodders and the PCA makes this all possible so it’s a huge benefit for us.

“It’s a nice reward to take home after some very hard work over the last year or so, it really makes everything feel worthwhile.”

PCA commercial director, Rob Smyth, said: “Being part of the whole process has been great and I’ve been very impressed by every candidate.

“They are professionals on the sports pitch but also in the boardroom which is a great skillset to have.

“The Lodders sponsorship is crucial to the Futures Awards, not just in the venue and the money but in the support they give to the players.”