Hill wins PCA Personal Development Scholarship Award

Leicestershire wicketkeeper/batsman Lewis Hill’s sessions improving his interview technique in front of his living room curtains have helped him win one of this year’s Professional Cricketers’ Association Scholarship Awards.

Hill had no previous interview experience before he appeared before a four-strong judging panel in a Dragons’ Den scenario at Edgbaston, but he came away as a winner, along with Yorkshire opening batsman Alex Lees, in the Newcomer category of the Awards.

“I’ve not done anything like that before. I didn’t even do a presentation at school all those years ago but I quite enjoyed it actually,” Hill said.

“I was talking to my curtain for a couple of nights before the interview. I actually took a mirror down so I could see myself speaking. But it came out pretty nicely. I was pretty confident actually. When I got going I felt quite comfortable doing it. I had done my preparation and it flowed nicely.”

Hill won £1,000 prize money which he will use to further establish his e-commerce business selling sports equipment and designing websites.

“The website design is done and I am planning to set up a sister business to my dad’s. He has contracts where he has to go through a middle man and I want to be that middle man,” Hill said.

“I want to sell on line.  I’m already on eBay. I have sold over 2,000 net clips for football goals. I’m building for years to come. I want to really get into sports clubs and to talk to them about their products.

“Winning this award means a lot especially as I wasn’t that academically bright. I tried hard and got my grades in the end but it didn’t come easy to me. Having something that relates back to school and my experience and being successful is a real positive.”

The awards, which were introduced in 2013, reward the most proactive current and former professional cricketers in England and Wales who have sought ways to develop and improve themselves off the pitch.

Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman and Glamorgan batsman Will Bragg were successful in the Current Players category with former Surrey seamer Tim Linley and former Warwickshire slow left-armer Paul Best triumphing in the Past Player Progression Personal Development Awards.

Linley also received an additional £1,000 after his presentation, which included a practical demonstration of his barista skills, was highly commended by the judging panel of PCA Chief Executive David Leatherdale, Ian Thomas, the PCA’s Head of Development and Welfare, and two PCA Personal Development & Welfare Managers, Charlie Mulraine and Lynsey Williams.

Hill was initially reluctant to make a Personal Development plan because he thought it might distract from his cricket. Instead he has found that having something to focus on away from cricket has improve his game.

“If you look at my stats before I started doing any Personal Development and now there would be a big difference,” Hill said.

“That’s no coincidence. Even in body language. If I have a bad day I come back in the next day refreshed because I switch my mind off more and I do other things before I go back to cricket.”